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Poor hauls make saury a luxury masses can no longer afford

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In Japan, "tai" (sea bream) is considered the king of fish, and old sayings would seem to back this up.

"Kusattemo tai" is one. It translates literally as, "It may be rotten, but it's still a sea bream," meaning there is no substitute for quality.

Another, "ebi de tai wo tsuru" (literally, "use a shrimp as bait to catch a sea bream") is said to be the Japanese equivalent of the English saying "to throw a sprat to catch a whale."

I also learned from "Tsuri to Sakana no Kotowaza Jiten" (Dictionary of sayings related to fishing and fish) that there was an old maxim advising anglers to go for "madai" (a type of sea bream) or grunt if making money was their top priority.

Thus, the sea bream has always been a synonym........

© The Asahi Shimbun