Rush for sashimi on New Year's Eve

Premium grade toro ahi priced at $34.95/pound

Published  6:00 PM HST Dec 31, 2012

It's New Year's Eve and, as expected, Tamashiro Market is a fishy madhouse.

The fresh catch is in, and now, it's the customers who are taking the bait showing upin droves to get their hands on what's considered good luck within the local Japanese culture.

But, lucky food doesn't come cheap.  Popular demand for ahi and catch limits have resulted in high prices for consumers.

"You have your best selection to your least expensive, and as time goes usually those two ends disappear," said Guy Tamashiro of Tamashiro Market.

Tickets are flying off the roll even with rising ahi costs, but customers say they don't mind shelling out.

"It's a little bit higher than last year -- does it matter?  No," said Alan Dote of Kaimuki.

Premium grade toro ahi is running at $34.95 a pound.  Dote says the fish is a necessity.

"Whole family get-together.  We have dinner at midnight.  Sort of a potluck.  But, gotta have sashimi," said Dote.

Sonny Acosta is headed to Kalihi with two bags of opihi to bring in 2013 with a bang.

"For me, New Year's is about the fireworks with the family just being together.  I think food brings everybody together and I think this is how the family stays strong," said Acosta.

That's what it seems the madness is all about -- providing the best that you can for your loved one and starting off the New Year with a good fortune.

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