Bluefin tuna auction. (Photo: Akihiro)
Extraordinary price paid for a bluefin tuna
Thursday, January 05, 2012, 23:50 (GMT + 9)
A giant bluefin tuna was sold for a record price of JPY 56.49 million (EUR 566.350/USD 736,500) in the traditional first auction of the year at the Tsukiji fish market, Tokyo.
The fish, which weighted 269 kg, was captured off the coast of Oma, in the province of Aomori.
The price paid this year exceeded that recorded in the first auction of 2011 held in the largest fish market in the world, when a tuna fish from the island of Hokkaido was paid JPY 32.49 million (EUR 325,730).
The buyer of tuna was Kiyoshi Kimura, owner of the company that distributes fish to sushi restaurant chain Kiyomura, reported Kyodo news agency.
According to the businessman, his intention to buy the bluefin tuna was "encouraging Japan" as it suffers the consequences of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011, which caused a nuclear crisis in Fukushima central and economic stagnation at national level.
According to data available in Tsukiji fish market, on 2001 first auction day JPY 20.2 million (EUR 203.000) were paid for a bluefin tuna. This specimen weighed over 200 kg and had been caught in the north of the archipelago.
In recent years, Japan, which is the largest consumer of tuna in the world, faces a diminishing supply of this resource as a result of reduced fishing quotas at the international level, established to help the sustainability of fisheries.
By Analia Murias