A bluefin tuna caught off the coast of Japan has just been sold for a record breaking $736,000. The 593-pound fish, which was sold at an auction at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, sold for $1,238 per pound.
The tuna beat last year’s record by more than a quarter of a million dollars. Last year, a tuna was sold for 32.49 million yen, or about $422,ooo.
The Associated Press reports that the high price of the tuna has less to do with quality and more to do with the exciting atmosphere that surrounds the first fish auction of the year.
Kiyoshi Kimura, who won the tuna, is the president of the Kiyomura Co. which runs the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain. Kimura said:
“Japan has been through a lot the last year due to the disaster. Japan needs to hang in there. So I tried hard myself and ended up buying the most expensive one.”
Kimura said that he will sell the expensive fish at his restaurants in Japan at a discounted price. Kimura could sell the fish for as much as 8,000 yen ($96) per piece, but instead the president of the Kiyomura company is selling the 418 yen (about $5).
Kosuke Shimogawara, a customer said:
“It’s superb. I can do nothing but smile. I am very happy. It’s unbelievable. President Kimura is so generous. I have to say thank you to him.”
The Bluefin Tuna is the most sought after fish in the waters around Japan and several international groups have tried to curb the consumption of tuna. In 2010, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas voted to cut the fishing quota in the Eastern Atlantic from 13,500 to 12,900 metric tons of tuna annually.