The popular chain Sushi Zanmai's CEO Kiyoshi Kimura has won the annual auction with a record $3.1 million bid (333,600,000 yen) for a 278kg bluefin tuna at Tokyo's new fish market that replaced the world-famous Tsukiji late last year, The Guardian reported.
"The quality of the tuna I bought is the best", he stated as quoted by Japanese broadcaster NHK, adding that the high prices surprised him.
Kiyomura Co's President Kiyoshi Kimura, who runs a chain of sushi restaurants Sushi Zanmai, poses as he prepares to cut a 278kg bluefin tuna, priced with a 333,600,000 yen bid at the Toyosu fish market's first tuna auction this year, at his sushi restaurant pic.twitter.com/9WJWUKOThw— Economic Divide (@ED_Program) 5 января 2019 г.
The Japanese are known to be the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna, and the growing consumption has led to overfishing of the species.
The fish normally sells for up to $88 a kilo but the price rises to over $440 a kilo by year's end, especially for prized trophies from Oma in northern Japan.
Experts warn that the fish is facing potential extinction, with stocks of Pacific bluefin having dropped 96 percent from their pre-industrial levels.