My "The Tuna Route" project, aims to bring closer the issue of bluefin tuna fishing , showing the double danger to which the irresponsible current fishing policy leads: the danger of extinction in which this species is found and the danger that, in the basin of the Mediterranean, the fishing industries and their jobs can run once the tuna is extinct.
This project consists of a first part where the art of millenary fishing 'Almadraba' will be shown in the Meditarranean - where the population of tuna has decreased alarmingly since the 70s - and a second part, the aquaculture industry, which can be a response to disproportions between the demand and supply of bluefin tuna meat. Access and participation in Almadraba fishing is so retricted right now that these parts of the project are still in the making.
The third part, presented here, closes the project, approaching the last stage of the "tuna route" - auctions of tuna coming mainly from the Mediterranean, in the largest fish market in the world - Tsukiji (築地市場) in Tokyo, Japan.
Tuna auctions in Tsukiji, the largest fish market in the world, Tokyo, Japan.
The Tsukiji Market awakes at 1.00am when frozen tuna, coming from different parts of the world, begins to be unloaded from the trucks and boats.
The tuna is unloaded, weighed and later placed according to its quality in huge, well illuminated and refrigerated pavilions where the auctions will take place.
Workers of auction houses with typical boots look at the origin of the tuna written on small sheets of paper attached to the fish.
Workers of auction houses mark the indications of the quality of hundreds of tunas.
The cuts in the tails of the tuna enable the buyers to check more easily the quality of the meat.
Buyers appear around 3.00am and until 5.30am, which is when the auctions start, they carefully check the quality of the fish by looking at the color of the meat and the fat content.
The auctioneers shout the prices gesticulating strongly and the buyers indicate, with the almost invisible gestures, their intention of bidding for a particular fish.
The market starts to lose its frantic pace towards 7.30am when the auctioned tuna are on their way to Tokyo stores and restaurants.
Lunch in the restaurant of the Nihombashi district of Tokyo.