For the past couple decades, AquaBounty, a Massachusetts-based company, has been working on the production and promotion of their genetically engineered salmon, called “AquaAdvantage” (though some call it “frankenfish”). The fish is an Atlantic salmon that contains a growth gene from the Chinook salmon, as well as a gene from an ocean pout. The resulting engineered fish is able to grow larger and faster than a regular salmon, making it cheaper to produce.
A couple weeks ago, a moderate-sized (500 lb) bluefin tuna sold for an unimaginable price of nearly $1.8 million US dollars – a new record – at a Tokyo fish auction. The buyer is the owner of several sushi restaurants in Japan. He also set the old record for the highest paid price for bluefin tuna ($740,000) at last year’s auction. This time he paid almost triple that amount. Supposedly, the high prices paid at the annual New Year’s tuna auctions in Tokyo are a way to “celebrate” (more likely it is about publicity), and do not reflect actual market price. Nonetheless, the continued increasing price buyers are paying for bluefin tuna mirrors its increasing rarity.
Over the past several years conservationists have been working with countries around the globe to save sharks. Why do sharks need saving? Because decades of fishing for sharks – primarily for their fins, which are highly valued for their use in shark fin soup – has depleted their populations. Now, nearly one third of all shark species are threatened with extinction.