Record $3.1 million paid in New Year's tuna auction at Japan's new market

By AFP   January 5, 2019 | 10:11 am GMT+7
Record $3.1 million paid in New Year's tuna auction at Japan's new market
Bidding on tuna at Tokyo's fish market (pictured October 2018 at its reopening) stopped at at a whopping 333.6 million yen for an enormous 278-kilogramme (612-pound) fish. Photo by AFP

A record $3.1 million was paid for a giant tuna on Saturday as Tokyo's new fish market held its first pre-dawn New Year's auction.

Bidding stopped at a whopping 333.6 million yen for the enormous 278-kilogram (612-pound) fish -- an endangered species -- that was caught off Japan's northern coast.

Sushi entrepreneur Kiyoshi Kimura paid the top price, which doubled the previous record of 155 million paid in 2013, at the new market that  replaced the world-famous Tsukiji late last year.

"I bought a good tuna," the self-styled "Tuna King" said after the auction.

"The price was higher than originally thought," he added.

Tsukiji -- the world's biggest fish market and a popular tourist attraction in an area packed with restaurants and shops -- moved in October to Toyosu, a former gas plant a bit further east.

Tsukiji, which opened in 1935, was best known for its pre-dawn daily auctions of tuna, caught from all corners of the ocean, for use by everyone from top Michelin-star sushi chefs to ordinary grocery stores.

Especially at the first auction of the new year, wholesalers and sushi tycoons have been known to pay eye-watering prices for the biggest and best fish.

 
 
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