Following a kind request by my good Foodbuzz friend, Elizabeth, I decided to re-post an article on this particular tuna species to clear some misunderstandings and add new information!
“Kuromaguro” or Blue Fin Tuna has become almost a mythical fish all over the world to the point that non-Japanese refer to it by its Japanese name.
“Kuromaguro”, or Blue Fin Tuna (or Tunny) has many other names in Japanese: Honmaguro, Maguto,Meji,Yokowa, Shibi, Imoshii, Shibimaguro, Kuroshibi, and Hatsu!
The best are caught in Winter mainly in the seas off Kochi (Shikoku Island), Miyagi and Hokkaido Prefectures.
This variety is the most expensive and can reach astronomical prices, especially caught in Winter off Hokkaido.
Imported Kuromaguro usually reaches Japan frozen, but in recent years the fish has been successfully raised in semi-wild environments in Spain, Australia and Croatia and arrives in Japan fresh by plane.
Imports and sales of Kuromaguro are monopolised by Japanese trade associations, unless you are lucky enough to catch one (careful here, as poaching is a major offense in Japan!).
Between you and me, if you want to eat Kuromaguro sashimi, it might come cheaper if you do it while travelling in Spain!
Did you know that Japanese importers will fly to Spain and other countries just to check that the fish are bled properly?
Now “Kindai Maguro” (近/kin for “near/nearby” and 大/dai for “big”) is the name given Kuromaguro/Blue Fin Tuna entirely human-fed (I mean fed by humans, not fed with humans!LOL).
There is big “but”, though! Huma-fed does not mean human-raised.
Young tuna have first to be located, encircled with large nets, guided near a shore and then provided with food. What people forget is that the tuna gills are hard. If the fish cannot swim freely enough it will wither and eventually die. So Kindai Tuna is nothing less than wild tuna caught into a trap and raised inside it!
BUT GOOD NEWS!
Only last week, the Tokai Marine Studies University in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City (Shizuoka, Banzai!) has just announced that they have succeeded in raising Kuromaguro from the eggs! What is with the recent success by fish farmers in raising another variety of Kuromaguro in Kyushu, Specialist are confident that Japan will be able to actually export completely human-raised tuna in the foreseeable future!
Kuromaguro Otoro (fat part)
Kuromaguro Chutoro (semi-fat part)
Kuromaguro Akami (lean part)