Bluefin Tuna Goes For Record $736,000 At Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market
The Associated Press reports:
TOKYO -- This tuna is worth savoring: It cost nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
The bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched a record 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, Thursday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. The price for the 269-kilogram (593-pound) tuna beat last year's record of 32.49 million yen.
The price translates to 210,000 yen per kilogram, or $1,238 per pound - also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official.
The winning bidder is Kiyoshi Kimura, president of a sushi restaurant chain. Media reports quote him saying that he wants to "liven up Japan" and help it recover from last year's devastating tsunami and economic stagnation.
The tuna was caught off Aomori prefecture.
On the occasion of the last record tuna sale, Trevor Corson, author of The Secret Life of Lobsters, The Story of Sushi and the only Sushi Concierge in the United States, explained why the largest bluefin tuna can fetch such enormous sums of money:
The only reason any bidder at the Tokyo auction ever pays that much for a fish is to deliberately spend way more than any sane person should. Blowing that much on a tuna is either a celebration of recent profits, or a bid for publicity to boost a restaurant or distributor's profile. In short, it's money spent on advertising, not on fish.
The bluefin tuna is not officially on NOAA's list of endangered species, but is considered a "species of concern." It faces possible extinction as a result of overfishing and habitat degradation.
Below, see photos of the record bluefin sale: