You’ll need a lot of chips to go with that! Fishmonger lands 7ft long 23st bluefin tuna that is even bigger than the man with the job of filleting it
- Massive rare fish is sold to Edinburgh sushi restaurant for thousands after months of searching for it
- It took fishmonger William Elliot, 48, two hours to chop up the fish after it was sent over from Barcelona
- Campbell Mickel, 51, who bought the bluefin tuna, says the fish is ‘lobster, caviar and champagne all in one’
- Bluefin tuna used to be an endangered species, and they are still a rare sight in British waters
A fishmonger was dwarfed by a rare 7ft bluefin tuna so huge he had to chop it up on the floor.
The rare fish tipped the scales at a whopping 23st at Eddie’s Seafood Market, Edinburgh.
It was so big it had to be cut up on the ground because it wouldn’t fit on the counter – and master filleter William Elliot, 48, who stands 5ft 5in tall, looked tiny lying next to it.
The rare fish was sold for ‘thousands’ to a posh sushi restaurant in Edinburgh after being filleted on May 14, which took two hours.
‘You can’t comprehend the size of this fish until you see it in real life!’ – William Elliot, 48, spent two hours filleting the enormous tuna before it was served up at posh Edinburgh sushi restaurant, where it was stored at minus 60 degrees celsius to keep it fresh
Bluefin tuna are some of the most expensive fish in the world, but catching them is largely banned in UK waters. Campbell Mickel, 51, managed to find this giant fish in Barcelona after months of searching. He added he would not normally buy the once-endangered fish but did so because it was farmed in a pen off the Spanish coast
Campbell Mickel, 51, bought the rare fish from traders in Barcelona on May 10 – and said he was so excited he couldn’t sleep until it arrived.
It took four men to haul the huge tuna onto the window display at the fish market.
Campbell said he would not normally advocate eating bluefin tuna but said the 7ft fish was farmed rather than caught in the wild.
It was captured at a young age and farmed in a pen in the Mediterranean until it matured before being sold.
Campbell was asked by a sushi restaurant owner to source the bluefin – which he described as being ‘lobster, caviar and champagne all in one’ to sushi chefs.
Bluefin tuna – a rare catch
- Bluefin tuna used to be considered endangered, but their numbers have greatly improved in recent years
- They can grow up to 12ft in length
- Before Brexit, catching the rare fish was banned in UK waters
- The UK now has a small but limited quota for catching bluefin tuna
- Recreational fishers are not allowed to catch the fish and must release it back into the water if they do
- Bluefin tuna are part of a catch, tag and release program in the UK to keep track of their numbers
Source: Marine Management Organisation/Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas
He spent nearly three months trying to find the fish, which he said is worth thousands.
The tuna will be super-frozen at minus 60 degrees celsius by chefs at Bentoya and Kenji sushi restaurants to protect its quality.
Campbell said: ‘It took four of us to try and get it on display but we had to really wrestle with it, you can’t get your arms around it at all and it’s so slippery.
‘You can’t comprehend the size of this fish until you see it in real life.
‘I bought it from Barcelona on Friday and it arrived in the UK on Monday after being transported overnight – I didn’t sleep at all, I was so excited.
‘It weighs 150kg [23st] and is about 7ft long.
‘Bluefin tuna are highly endangered so we wouldn’t normally advocate eating it.
‘But this one was caught when it was young and farmed until it was mature in a pen – so it’s classed as farmed as opposed to wild.
‘It was farmed in the Mediterranean off the east coast of Spain.
‘I bought it through traders in Barcelona and they handle everything needed to get it to the UK.
‘It cost me thousands.
‘It has been sold to one customer, a sushi restaurant, who will super freeze it to minus 60 degrees to protect the quality of it.
‘The customer asked me to located the fish for him and I have been working on it for two or three months.
‘We supply sushi restaurants in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee but we don’t normally deal with bluefin tuna.
‘But because this was a farmed product I wanted to try it.
‘For a sushi restaurant this fish is as good as it gets, it’s the crème de la crème – it’s their lobster, caviar and champagne all in one meal.’
Bluefin tuna can be up to five feet longer than this one – more than twice the size of William Elliot, shown here. The fish are worth thousands of pounds