Bluefin tuna sold for record-breaking $1.76 million

Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., made the successful bid and set a new record when he bought a 222kg tuna for $1.76 million at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo, Japan. The sale, which took place on 5 January 2013, was nearly three times that of the previous record, also set by Kimura, who paid around $645,000 for a fish at the 2012 New Year auction. The restaurant owner conceded that the price was “a bit high”, but he made the bid to “encourage Japan” as the first fish auction of the year is an important event in the calendar and often features over-inflated prices.

Bluefin tuna is a particular favourite in Japanese sushi restaurants and its most prized-cut, known as ‘o-toro’, can be priced at $24 per piece at the most exclusive sushi bars. Kimura transported the fish to one of his Sushi-Zanmai chain of restaurants, where it was polished and prepared in front of crowds of onlookers. Japan consumes around 80 percent of all bluefin tuna caught worldwide and is the largest global importer of the fish. There are three species of bluefin tuna – Pacific, Southern and Atlantic – all of which have experienced a fall in stocks over the last 15 years.


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