Japan set a new record for the price of tuna this week, after a huge bluefin tuna was auctioned off for $1.8 million in the first auction of the New Year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market. The new record was nearly three times higher than the one set last year in the same market.
The fish weighed in at a whopping 488 pounds after fishermen netted it off the coast of Oma in northern Japan. The new record dwarfs that of last year, which was $640,000. The market is very large and is on the itinerary of a number of tour operators in the city that bring tourist to experience the workings of an authentic Japanese fish market.
Saturday’s winning bidder was from the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain. Kiyoshi Kimura is the chain’s president and he was the winner as well last year in the auction that set the record for the largest tuna every sold.
Kimura said customers of his restaurants want to taste Japan’s best tuna and in order to meet their demands he had to purchase the huge bluefin. He hopes the tuna will help bring good cheer to the country once again.
The tuna sold for $3,643 per pound and just a single slice of the tuna could cost the many sushi lovers at Kimura’s restaurants as much as $340. Nevertheless, Kimura said he would sell the bluefin for substantially less, as he will charge only $4.50 a slice so all of his loyal customers can enjoy the exquisite taste and return for more.
Around the world, there has been overfishing of tuna for decades and the stock of the fish has crashed globally. That has led some Western nations to urge for a ban on catching any bluefin Tuna found in the Atlantic.