Plenty of ahi means good news for holiday buyers

With ahi plentiful for New Year’s Eve, the countdown to 2015 is on, and for many families, that means ringing in the new year with sashimi.

This is the busiest time of the year for fish buyers and retailers as they work to keep up with the demand.

Prices for ahi are always a bit higher for New Year’s Eve, but the good news is, there’s a lot to go around.

“This room, right now, we have about 10,000 pounds,” said Mike Irish of Diamond Head Seafood Co.

That’s double the amount the Kalihi company normally has — 10,000 pounds of ahi purchased at the fish auction this morning, along and 9,000 pounds of salmon. And they’ll buy more over the next two days.

When asked why is the supply so good this year, Irish said “just that the waters were great. The weather was pretty bad last week, but you notice how beautiful it’s been the last few days, so the boats have been able to go out and catch more fish.”

That means good news for the hundreds of restaurants and stores, including Foodland, that this company serves.

The last three days of the year are the busiest for Diamond Head Seafood. Employees work almost around the clock to keep up with the demand.

And since the supply will be able to keep up with the demand, customers are not expected to see the high prices they’ve seen in the past, when ahi numbers were down.

“The sashimi price for the medium grade is $29.95, the higher grade is about $38.95 and poke is at $18.95,” said Justin Tanioka of Tanioka’s Seafoods and Catering.

He said the line for customers will likely be out the door of the Waipahu store on Wednesday.

“We have a little under 500 pickup orders and we’ll probably cut about 800 pounds of sashimi that day,” Tanioka said.

Irish said the tradition of eating sashimi means “good luck and prosperity for the coming year.”

Since there is a good supply of fish, it’s not too late to place your order for New Year’s Eve. At Tanioka’s, for example, you can walk in that Wednesday and pick some up.

Courtesy of KHON2

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