ONE of the biggest bluefin tuna ever caught in Ireland was sold at Limerick’s Milk Market over the weekend.
The massive yield, which was caught 600 miles off the coast of Castletownbere in county Cork, was snapped up by fish lovers at the popular Saturday market.
Paul Cusack of Rene Cusack’s fish shop in the market said it was the first time in his 40 years in business that he has seen anything like this.
“I’ve never seen one in my life and I have been to fish auctions all over the world, so this was very exciting for us,” he told the Limerick Chronicle.
“It was caught on Wednesday, we collected it on Friday night and then sold it on Saturday,” he added.
“The tuna migrate up the west coast of Ireland around this time of year, but very few of them are caught,” he explained. The 250kg tuna is still for sale, priced at €20 per kg, with some 700 200gram portions made up. It was bought for €1,500 and has yielded over €2,000 in sales to date.
“There was huge interest in it. We normally get yellowfin tuna which we have on a weekly basis. I’m 40 years waiting for this one to come so who knows when we’ll have a fish of this type here again,” said Mr Cusack, a third-generation fishmonger. His family have been in the business for over 100 years.
The 10-year old fish was caught by local skipper JD Sullivan. As a commercial fish, bluefin tuna is highly desirable in Asian markets as one of the best fish for sushi.
Food writer, critic and blogger Valerie O’Connor was among those at the top of the queue. “It was really delicious and created a great buzz in the market. It was really lovely to get some nice fresh fish, especially something so rare,” she said.
Mr Cusack said they don’t have mussels for sale at present due to the e-coli scare in Clare, but he expects they will be for sale in their stores over the next week or two.
Rene Cusack stores are members of Responsible Irish Fish, which ensures the conservation of fish stocks.
Meanwhile, another attraction in the market at the weekend was the first film screening, which was well attended, with the next film to be held on Saturday, August 4.