A staple food around the world, fish provides a wide-range of health benefits, such as supplying our diets with omega-3 fatty acids and important proteins. But for some, dining on seafood comes at a price. The most expensive fish, which is also hard-to-find, include the varieties of swordfish, king salmon, yellowfin tuna, puffer fish, and bluefin tuna. The prices per pound for these high-end fish can reach $20 per pound or more, depending on whether you are cooking it at home or ordering from a restaurant.
The 5 Most Expensive Fish
1. Bluefin Tuna
This controversial food, no doubt one of the most expensive fish you can buy, is well-known for its popularity in the sushi culture and with Japanese foodies. In fact, a sushi restaurant owner in Japan made headlines for procuring a very expensive, $1.76 million dollar fish in 2013. While this was mostly a tradition of overpaying for the biggest fish of the season (to bring in customers for the restaurant), you can expect to pay more for this species than any other on the market today.
Bluefin from the Atlantic is in very low supply, making the endangered list and the news for being scarce in oceans today. Fisherman from the Pacific coasts, however, are reporting ample supply; most legitimate U.S. sellers claim to only sell this more acceptable variety of fish. While still pricey, Pacific Bluefin tuna is easier to find and considered conservation friendly by many.
Where to buy Bluefin Tuna
You can buy very limited amounts of Bluefin Tuna online at these retailers (when in season).
2. Puffer Fish (Fugu)
Known as a deadly member of the fish family, one drop of poison from the puffer fish can leave a diner dead. That’s why the special training and preparation of a qualified chef is needed to make the toxic puffer fish (called “fugu”) edible. While it’s possible to order this delicacy online, it is not recommended that you try this at home. In fact, the FDA issued a warning to only eat from known restaurants. Right now, there are fewer than 50 restaurants nationwide authorized to serve puffer fish. Price will vary from $12 to $200 of more for a full experience.
Where to buy Puffer Fish
This fish can only be served by a chef with the required training (3 or more years) needed to safely serve it. Kaz Sushi in DC, is one such restaurant. They serve a puffer fish with baby bok choy for about $15.
Pacific swordfish is a hearty fish that is available throughout the year, although fresh fish is only caught from August through October. Since it is so meaty, it holds up well to grilling and broiling; many people love it as a kabob! A serving size of this delicacy is about 4 oz, which means each 50-200 pound swordfish can serve a lot of people! Due to the difficulty involved in fishing these giant creatures and the high demand by people to enjoy it, swordfish is considered to be among one of the most expensive fish in the world! (Note: Atlantic swordfish is also available for sale. This is the same species as the Pacific, but not usually as large due to the environment it lives in. Contrary to popular belief, swordfish is not considered an endangered species, thanks to recent conservation efforts.)
Where to buy Swordfish
You can get swordfish online at the following retailers, as well as at select fish markets and grocers.
- Omaha Steaks (priced $61.99 for 24 ounces)
- Maine Lobster Now (priced $39.99 for 1 pound)
- Oceanside Seafood (priced $13.99 for 1 pound)
- Anderson Seafood (priced $34.62 for 1 pound)
4. Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)
Often seen as a suitable (and delicious) replacement for the engendered Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin is still widely available from most sellers. With a firm and flaky texture, mild flavor, and a versatility that makes it great for grilling or eating raw, it’s a popular choice in restaurants and for home cooks. It’s still one of the most expensive fish for those who don’t live next to a fish market, however. Expect to pay a pretty penny to have it shipped to your door.
Where to buy Yellowfin Tuna (Ahi)
The following online sellers can get you Yellowfin most months of the year.
- Omaha Steaks (priced at $99 for 2+ pounds)
- Honolulu Fish Company (priced at $162 for 3 pounds)
- Catalina Offshore Products (priced at $24.99 for a frozen 11 ounces)
5. Wild King Salmon
Also known as Chinook salmon, this is one of the hardest salmon species to catch each year. This particular type of fish is among the highest in fat and flavor of the Wild Pacific salmon species, and it also can be the largest! Fish suppliers usually offer a limited number of Wild King Salmon each year, simply because they tend to run out quickly. More common (and affordable) are the Red (Sockeye) salmon, which are usually priced a bit cheaper and more widely available year-round. They cost between $15 and $17 per pound.
Where to buy Wild King Salmon
The following retailers offer a limited supply of Wild King Salmon online.
- Wild Alaska Salmon and Seafood Company (priced at $22 for 1 pound)
- Tanner’s Fish (priced at $29.95 for 1 pound)
- Fresh Seafood (priced at $16.99 per pound, minimum of 12 pounds)