Tokyo’s Tsukiji central fish market rang in the new year with a happy new record, a bluefin tuna fetching a highest-ever price at the year’s first auction Wednesday. A giant bluefin tuna fetched a record 32.49 million yen, or nearly $396,000, in Tokyo on Wednesday, in the first auction of the year at the world’s largest wholesale fish market.
The price for the 754-pound tuna beat the previous record set in 2001 when a 445-pound fish sold for 20.2 million yen, a spokesman for Tsukiji market said. It was an exceptionally large fish, said the official, Yutaka Hasegawa. But we were all surprised by the price.
Bluefin tuna is prized by sushi aficionados, and the fish sold today was considered excellent quality, caught off Hokkaido in northern Japan, a Tokyo restaurant owner behind the winning bid told. Yosuke Imada, owner of the upscale Kyubei sushi restaurant, will split the fish with his co-bidder, a Ricky Cheng, the owner of the Itamae Sushi chain, part of Hong Kong’s Taste of Japan Group. What a relief I was able to buy this fish. We wanted to get it for good luck, even if we lose money, said Mr. Cheng.
Bluefin tuna is especially prized in Japan, the world’s biggest consumer of seafood. Japan consumes more than half of the world’s bluefin catch each year.
This record-setting expensive tuna sure will give birth to a new record of world’s most expensive sushi.