The Big Blue Ocean Exploration

Golden bigeye tuna catch a ‘one-in-a-million find’

Rare capture of large specimen made off Philippines; 'coveted' prize ends up in high-end sushi restaurant

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Screen grab from MyFoxPhilly.com news report

The recent capture of a golden bigeye tuna off the Philippines was so rare that the East Coast seafood distributor who received the catch referred to it as a “one-in-a-million find.”

The 138-pound tuna, which boasts beautiful coloration and peculiar whitish eyes, was caught by long-line fishermen and shipped this week to Samuels and Son Seafood.

The Philadelphia company, which promptly sold the fish to a sushi restaurant in Washington, D.C., posted a news release about the catch on its Facebook page.

Bigeye tuna, generally, are blueish and silver. The stunning gold color is an anomaly and in Asian cultures, Samuels and Son state, the capture of a golden bigeye tuna is believed to bring good luck.

“Being the largest seafood distributor in the mid-Atlantic, Samuels has seen just about every fish from around the world,” reads part of the post. “Now, for the first time, they’ll see the coveted Golden Bigeye Tuna.”

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Photo courtesy of Samuels and Son Seafood

Joseph Lasprogata, the company vice president, added: “The last time a fish like this was caught was about five years ago. Normally creatures which stand out in the ocean are eaten by predators early on. So to see a mature individual with such primitive color variation is highly unusual.”

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Golden bigeye sushi, three ways

And such a prized catch did not go to just any sushi restaurant. It was sold to Sushi Taro, ranked by Forbes as one of the 100 best restaurants in the U.S. (The sale price was not disclosed.)

“Bigeye tuna are sometimes hard to distinguish as they look a great deal like yellowfin tuna,” Samuels and Son conclude. “However, when a fisherman comes across the great golden bigeye tuna, it’s a one-in-a-million find.”

On Wednesday night Sushi Taro posted photos of the bigeye tuna on its Facebook page, prepared various ways, under this description: “Today’s special  (1 in a million rare) Golden Bigeye Tuna Sushi 3 ways & Toro Tataki.”

The three ways were red, mid-fatty, and toro. Surprisingly, it was somewhat reasonably priced, as stated via Facebook: Nigiri three ways, $11.95; and Toro Tataki, $22.95. Presumably, it sold out quickly.

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