The Massive Amount Of Money This 600-Pound Tuna Was Sold For

Meat generally gets more expensive with quantity and quality. Tuna, particularly bluefin tuna, is no exception. Popular in sushi for its light texture and surprising flavor, bluefin tuna can get extremely expensive.

The biggest reason for bluefin's big price tag is supply and demand. Although we say "there's plenty of fish in the sea," this isn't really the case. Due to overfishing and bluefins' refusal to breed in captivity, their numbers have drastically decreased over the last few decades (via Live Science).

Despite many countries imposing fishing bans and recommending other fish varieties for consumption, bluefin remains a top choice. Compared to other kinds of tuna, bluefin has more fatty marbling. Like in beef grading, Delighted Cooking notes, the highly marbled tuna underbelly is extremely valuable and, therefore, can be extremely pricey.

But just how pricey are we talking? If one pound of ribeye costs as much as $15, how much is a pound of bluefin going to cost? What about 600 pounds of bluefin?

The most expensive tuna in the world

In Food Insider's newest episode of Big Business, viewers explore Japan's largest fish market. Commercial fishermen bring in their catch, and the fish are laid out for auction. After bidding primarily on the tuna's external appearance, experts cut open the fish to examine marbling and color. If you think that sounds like a gamble, you're right.

One such expert, Takayuki Shinoda, explained that fish with better color have a weaker taste, and those with a stronger taste have a shorter span of good coloring. He purchased a 612-pound bluefin tuna for his client for a whopping total of $3 million, according to ABC News. That's almost $5,000 per pound.

If the price doesn't scare you away, you might want to consider the health concerns tied to eating bluefin. The Environmental Defense Fund ranks bluefin as the second most dangerous type of tuna to consume. Not only does bluefin contain elevated amounts of mercury, it's extremely unsustainable and should be avoided.