Top 15 Most Expensive Seafood in the World

October 13, 2023 by theprintingsmith

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Seafood often carries a hefty price tag due to high demand and supply costs, yet die-hard enthusiasts remain undeterred.

This list showcases a diverse array of marine delicacies, each with its unique flavor and appearance.

These premium seafood offerings are bound to pique your interest in exploring novel tastes.

Top 15 Most Expensive Seafood in the World

The top 15 most expensive seafood in the world, listing them in ascending order with a brief description for each.

15. European Dover Sole ($47 per pound)

European Dover Sole
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Dover sole, lauded by renowned chefs, boasts a meat-like taste, setting it apart from other fish. The European variety surpasses its Pacific counterpart in both flavor and texture.

Often a costly item on upscale restaurant menus, it’s traditionally served as “sole meunière”, a French method involving flour dredging before cooking. Its simple yet exquisite preparation has made it a longstanding favorite.

14. Bluff Oysters ($53 per pound)

Bluff Oysters
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The Bluff oyster, sourced only from New Zealand’s Foveaux Strait, commands a high price due to its limited harvest periods and regional exclusivity.

This oyster’s esteemed creamy-colored meat often requires enthusiasts to travel to New Zealand to savor it fresh.

13. Maine Lobster ($54 per pound)

Maine Lobster
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Formerly dubbed the poor man’s chicken, Maine lobster has transitioned from prison food to a premium delicacy, known for dishes like lobster tail and rolls. Larger than its counterparts, its sweet and tender meat is a product of the chilly northern seas.

The cost of keeping lobsters alive from capture to plate contributes to its higher price.

12. Canadian Geoduck ($56 per pound)

Canadian Geoduck
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The geoduck, pronounced “gooey duck”, is a massive clam known for its purported aphrodisiac properties, especially in China.

As the world’s largest burrowing clam, it can weigh several pounds and live up to 150 years. Raw, its texture is slightly crunchy, but when cooked, it becomes chewier.

11. French Blue Lobster ($57 per pound)

French Blue Lobster
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The French blue lobster, naturally dark blue, turns brick red when cooked, mirroring its New England and Canadian relatives.

Apart from its distinctive hue, it stands out due to its lower water content, giving it a firmer texture, yet maintaining the signature sweet lobster flavor.

10. Abalone ($59 per pound)

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Hand-harvested abalone, a type of sea snail, requires skilled and brave divers due to its hidden nature on oceanic rocks.

Both its meat and shell are valuable. The abalone’s texture is akin to a mix of squid and scallop, and while a bit chewy, it boasts the buttery and salty flavors characteristic of top seafoods.

9. Copper River King Salmon ($64 per pound)

Copper River King Salmon
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Often dubbed the “wagyu of seafood,” Copper River king salmon have high omega-3 fatty acids, a result of their strenuous cold river journey to spawn. This extra fat enhances the fish’s luxurious flavor.

Exclusively wild-caught, they’re a salmon treasure. Mostly available in May and June, if you find them at your fish market, it’s an opportunity worth seizing.

8. Alaskan King Crab ($82 per pound)

Alaskan King Crab
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Apart from the highly desired red king crab from Alaska, there are two other types: blue king crab and golden king crab. Both are a bit smaller than their red counterpart, leading to a somewhat lower price.

However, despite their size, both blue and golden varieties still offer a rich sweet and meaty taste.

7. Percebes (Gooseneck Barnacles) ($84 per pound)

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Percebes, also known as Gooseneck barnacles, are sea delicacies popularized in Spain’s Galician coast. With their peculiar appearance, resembling dinosaur or dragon toes, they have an intriguing history.

People once believed they were the eggs of Barnacle geese, a notion debunked but the name stuck. Found in intertidal zones, these barnacles are tough to harvest, relying on specific tidal conditions.

Their difficult harvest combined with rarity accounts for their high market prices.

6. Red King Crab ($90 per pound)

Red King Crab
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Red king crab, the world’s most sought-after edible crab, offers a substantial meaty delight, justifying its high cost.

Originating from the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska, its price is driven up by perilous fishing conditions and limited availability. Those who invest in these crabs are rewarded with a meat that masterfully balances sweet and salty flavors.

5. Uni (Sea Urchin) ($108 per pound)

Uni (Sea Urchin)
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Of the nearly 1,000 sea urchin species worldwide, only 18 are edible. Their harvest and preparation, a meticulous process, contributes to their high cost.

The meat, known as uni, is prized for its distinctive salty and umami taste. Since they don’t preserve well frozen, the best way to savor top-grade uni is fresh at a premium sushi restaurant.

4. Sea Cucumber ($116 per pound)

Sea Cucumber
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When someone mentions eating cucumbers for health, you’d likely think of the common types found in stores. However, if they’re wealthy, they might mean sea cucumbers.

These marine creatures, resembling their namesake vegetable, are costly because of their perceived health benefits. Once an Asian delicacy, their demand has surged due to claims of treating conditions like arthritis, blood clots, and some cancers.

3. Coffin Bay King Oysters ($383 per pound)

Coffin Bay King Oysters
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Coffin Bay king oysters from South Australia are prized for their size and flavor, taking 18 months to mature. Their flesh is up to ten times meatier than regular oysters, retaining a juicy, oceanic taste. To experience this delicacy, a trip to its origin might be necessary.

2. Baby Eels ($499 per pound)

baby eels
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Photo Credit: Cork & Wine

Baby eels, or “angulas” in Spain, were once just livestock feed until top Spanish chefs introduced them in their dishes.

While their culinary fame contributes to their high cost, their rarity from overfishing, natural events, and quota restrictions also drives up their price, even though they have a subtle flavor.

1. Bluefin Tuna ($584 per pound)

Bluefin Tuna
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Bluefin tuna, especially the coveted toro cut, is among the world’s priciest seafood. A single bite can cost $15-20 in a top sushi restaurant.

Mostly sourced from Japan, the same country known for its costly fruits, its high price results from immense global demand, challenges in farming, and slow growth.

Fans describe its rich flavor as melt-in-your-mouth, justifying the expense.More Structured Format A Table that’s clear and easy to read AND understand

RankSeafoodPrice per poundBrief Description
15European Dover Sole$47Praised for its meat-like taste; preferred European variety
14Bluff Oysters$53Exclusive to New Zealand’s Foveaux Strait
13Maine Lobster$54Formerly “poor man’s chicken”; now a premium delicacy
12Canadian Geoduck$56Massive clam known for aphrodisiac properties
11French Blue Lobster$57Unique color; lower water content stands out
10Abalone$59Sea snail hand-harvested; buttery, salty flavors
9Copper River King Salmon$64Dubbed “wagyu of seafood”; high omega-3 content
8Alaskan King Crab$82Varieties with sweet, meaty taste
7Percebes (Gooseneck Barnacles)$84Popular in Spain; difficult to harvest
6Red King Crab$90Sought-after crab with sweet and salty flavors
5Uni (Sea Urchin)$108Salty and umami taste; best fresh in sushi
4Sea Cucumber$116Costly due to perceived health benefits
3Coffin Bay King Oysters$383Prized for size and flavor from South Australia
2Baby Eels$499Former livestock feed; now a delicacy due to rarity
1Bluefin Tuna$584Highly sought after, especially the toro cut


Seafood can be expensive, but there’s a reason for it. Some seafood is hard to find, and others come from special places. Think about the Bluefin Tuna or the European Dover Sole.

Each one has its own special taste and story. For example, the Maine Lobster used to be cheap food, but now it’s a treat many people love. And then there are Bluff Oysters that come only from a special place in New Zealand.

Some seafood like the Canadian Geoduck is liked for special reasons, while others like Sea Cucumbers are believed to be good for health. In short, the sea offers us many special foods. Some are rare, some are loved for their taste, and some for their story.

This makes them worth the price for many people. It’s not just about eating but also enjoying what the ocean gives us.

FAQs: Top 15 Most Expensive Seafood in the World

What is the most expensive seafood in the Word?

Bluefin Tuna tops the list at $584 per pound.

Why is Bluefin Tuna so costly?

Its high price is due to immense global demand, challenges in farming, and its slow growth.

What makes the European Dover Sole special?

European Dover Sole has a meat-like taste and is superior in flavor and texture to its Pacific counterpart. It is often served as “sole meunière”, a French preparation method.

Are all species of sea urchin edible?

Out of nearly 1,000 sea urchin species worldwide, only 18 are edible.

Why is the Maine Lobster considered premium?

Maine Lobster, once a cheap food, is now renowned for its sweet and tender meat, attributed to the cold northern seas.

What are the supposed benefits of Sea Cucumbers?

They are believed to treat conditions like arthritis, blood clots, and some cancers.

Why are Bluff Oysters exclusive?

They are sourced only from New Zealand’s Foveaux Strait and have limited harvest periods, making them exclusive and pricey.

How are abalones harvested?

Abalones are hand-harvested by skilled divers as they are hidden on rocky ocean surfaces.

What is the significance of Copper River King Salmon’s high omega-3 content?

Their high omega-3 content is due to the strenuous cold river journey they take to spawn, resulting in a luxurious flavor.

Why were baby eels, or “angulas”, previously used as livestock feed?

Before top Spanish chefs popularized them, baby eels were relatively unknown in culinary circles.

How does the French Blue Lobster change its appearance when cooked?

The naturally dark blue French Blue Lobster turns brick red upon cooking.

What’s the origin of the name ‘Gooseneck Barnacles’ for Percebes?

They were once believed to be the eggs of Barnacle geese, a theory debunked, but the name remained.

Why are Red King Crabs sought-after?

They offer a meaty delight and their price is influenced by dangerous fishing conditions and limited availability.

How can I savor the top-grade uni (sea urchin meat)?

Since uni doesn’t preserve well when frozen, the best way is to try it fresh at a premium sushi restaurant.

Why is seafood generally expensive?

The cost often stems from high demand, supply challenges, and the intricate processes involved in harvesting and preparation.

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