Posted by: Jeffsayyes | June 11, 2008

The Sushi Economy – Sasha Issenberg – Book Review

Sushi EconomyContinuing my sushi education from Trevor Corson’s Zen of Fish, I read Sasha Issenberg’s The Sushi Economy. This book was centered on the history and future of global production and consumption of sushi – centered on Tuna.

Issenberg gave a very detailed history of tuna hunting. I was intrigued by his proclamation that tuna fishing is the last hunter industry. Think about it – where else do people find their food in the wild by a global scale? The world is changing. Within the last few years, more and more tuna is being farmed. There are companies creating new grand scale methods to farm the previously unfarmable. He detailed regulated and unregulated areas of the world which have created a complex market for sushi fish.

I also learned tuna are awesome. They are huge and so fast. They are kings of the sea. No one effs with a tuna. Tuna can be over 500 pounds. One tuna sold for over $170,000 – Not only for the fish but for the bragging rights of buying on the first day of the year of the sushi market in Tokyo. It showed some real machismo to get this fish.

Filled to the brim with information, I get the feeling the author was overloading from trying to fit everything in there. There were many instances where Issenberg jumped forward and back in time to describe his situations within the same few paragraphs. More than a few moments, I stopped and said to myself “Wait, what?”

The way sections in chapters were broken up did not always make complete sense. The breaks seemed like an afterthought and revisions to make sense of them were never completed.

Assembling this book was a tremendous feat. I look forward to a second printing, to give Issenberg and the editors some time to go over the material. I can imagine a revised edition being highly improved. I recommend the future revised edition.

From National Geographic

Official Website
Issenberg’s extinct blog – you can’t even comment on there. Lame.
About the Tsukiji Market Official Site
Story of the most expensive fish ever


  1. […] Another Chance I think I’m spoiled. In past 6 months I have read 2 books on sushi, Sushi Economy and Zen of Fish, have been challenging myself, and trying to majorly up my game in sushi. I now […]

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