Huge Bluefin Tuna Cutting Show at Tensuke Market
• While Ikeda was cutting the fish, Takashi Thomas Sugiyama, President of Tensuke Market, spoke about the bluefin tuna. He has been in the tuna purchasing business since the 1970s and knows about the fish from A to Z. He also caught giant tunas by himself: a 640-pound tuna in 1986 and a 965-pound tuna in 1989.
• The bluefin tuna’s swimming speed is very high. A tuna of over 1,000 pounds can swim at a maximum speed of 55 miles per hour. A tuna of 340 pounds can reach a speed in excess of 45 miles per hour in a shout burst. When the tuna swims in a high speed, the back fin goes inside the body, and the side fin folds to attach to the body. Its swimming power comes from its swinging tail fin.
• In 1980, the Atlantic bluefin tuna caught were about 600 pounds to 800 pounds, and sometimes over 1,000 pounds. An 800-pound tuna is about 20 years old. The 620-pound tuna at the show was about 15 years old. The largest Atlantic bluefin tuna caught near Nova Scotia in 1979 was 1,496 pounds.
• The Western Atlantic bluefin tuna reaches
maturity at 8 years old and its weight is about 235 pounds, according
to the National Marine Fisheries information. It spawns in the Gulf of
• Small Western Atlantic tuna lives near the coast of Florida. The tuna eats shrimp, squid, octopus, and small fish. Adult tuna feed primarily on larger fish such as sardines, anchovy, herring, sand eel, mackerel, and blue fish.
• When the tuna become 2 or 3 years old,
they travel up to the north with the Gulf Stream along the coast from
Florida to New Jersey and Long Island, New York during the summertime.
In the fall, they come back to the south around the Florida area in September.
• The National Marine Fisheries checked the cruising speed of a school of tuna by a satellite going up to the north with the Gulf Stream. The speed was around 40 miles per hour, and they swam in 400-foot deep water at the edge of the continental shelf. The Gulf Stream’s current speed is 5.6 miles per hour.
• The Atlantic bluefin tuna are able
to thermoregulate so that they can keep their body temperature warmer
than the surrounding water.
• During the cutting show, nakaochi,
meat around the bone, was served to the audience, and everyone enjoyed
tasting the fresh tuna meat.