The price of Bluefin Tuna in Australia: is it worth it?

Tuna steak on rustic wooden background with fresh herbs

If you’re strolling down the aisles of your local supermarket, you can easily pick up a can of tuna for a dollar or two. While fresh tuna steaks will set you back significantly more, there is a definite price jump when buying Southern Bluefin Tuna.

Here, we explain why Southern Bluefin Tuna fetches such prices, and why Dinko Bluefin Tuna is worth every cent.

Why is there a price difference in tuna species?

Tuna is a versatile and delicious fish that chefs around the world favour, particularly in Japanese cuisine. While there are around 15 species of tuna worldwide, you are most likely to encounter five types in your culinary adventures, and each type differs enormously in terms of taste, texture, colour, and price.

The five types of tuna most commonly sold for consumption are Yellowfin, Bigeye, Skipjack, Albacore, and Bluefin (Southern, Pacific, and Atlantic).

Yellowfin Tuna and Bigeye Tuna are the two varieties known as ‘ahi.’ Smaller than the bluefin and with a deep pink colour, culinary terminology generally classifies them as ‘sashimi grade’ and ‘other.’

Yellowfin Tuna is most commonly used for canned products because, unlike its fatty relatives, it has a low-fat content and a light and refreshing taste. Bigeye Tuna is the type of tuna you will find in sushi and sashimi offerings in supermarkets, inexpensive restaurants, and sushi-train bars.

The Albacore and Skipjack tuna species are most commonly used for canned products and are smaller than their giant relatives.

The sheer abundance of these species, their milder flavour profiles, and their lack of textural delight mean they are far less sought after than their decadent counterpart.

Why is Bluefin Tuna more expensive?

Revered for its rich colour, decadent flavour and exquisite texture, Southern Bluefin is known for storing layers of fat throughout its muscles. Much like Wagyu beef, Southern Bluefin Tuna has deep red flesh and a marbled texture. This high-fat content creates the melt-in-your-mouth experience synonymous with Bluefin Tuna.

Used predominantly for sushi and sashimi, the three premium cuts of the Southern Bluefin Tuna are known by the traditional Japanese terms otoro, akami and chutoro.

Otoro is from the fish’s belly, or underside, and has the highest fat content — otoro translates to ‘big fat’. Because of this fattiness, the otoro falls apart easily and can quite literally melt in your mouth. The akami is the largest part of the fish, covering the top loin, shoulder and tail. It is meatier in texture and brighter in colour.

Chutoro refers to the small fillet between the otoro and the akami. It is a combination of the two, with a meaty and fatty texture.

But it’s not just the dining delight that makes this tuna varietal so prized. Southern Bluefin Tuna has become an increasingly valuable commodity because of its limited availability.

The fishing season for Southern Bluefin Tuna is relatively short compared with its counterparts, available only for a few weeks of the year. This fishing season also depends on several other factors, like sunshine and rain patterns.

But perhaps more importantly, Southern Bluefin Tuna catches are severely limited (and rightly so) because of the strict quota limits placed on fisheries to keep stock in short supply.

These quotas were introduced in 1984 when the Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) cut bluefin tuna fishing quotas and income by two-thirds to help the species’ sustainability. Thankfully, the population of southern bluefin tuna has increased dramatically in the decades since, and the quotas remain in place to ensure it stays this way well into the future.

Buy wholesale prices from Dinko Seafoods

At Dinko Seafoods, we sell wholesale Australian Bluefin Tuna directly to customers worldwide.

You can be guaranteed the quality and flavour when you buy our sashimi-grade, Australian-farmed bluefin tuna directly from the source.

At Dinko Seafoods, we pioneered the Bluefin Tuna farming method, which has become the international gold standard. Since our early days as innovators and leaders, we have continued to lead the industry with superior-quality products.

We sell sashimi-grade tuna directly to you, cutting out the middleman and saving you time and money. You can be guaranteed the quality and flavour of our Australian-farmed Bluefin Tuna.

Enjoy the delights of Dinko Seafoods

Bluefin tuna is a luxury experience everyone should try. Source it from a sustainable company like Dinko Seafoods, and you can enjoy it with peace of mind.

Once you place an order, we’ll pack it and ship it on the first available flight (if required). Generally, your order will be delivered within 3-5 days of purchase.

To make a wholesale order, contact us today.