Written by Lethonkie Fernando
05 Jan, 2019 | 2:26 pm
A Japanese sushi boss has paid a record $3.1m (£2.5m) for a giant tuna at the first new year’s auction in Tokyo’s new fish market. Self-styled “Tuna King” Kiyoshi Kimura bought the 278kg (612lbs) bluefin tuna, which is an endangered species.
He spent more than twice the previous record of $1.4m, which he paid in 2013.
Wholesalers and sushi company owners often pay high prices for the best fish at the first pre-dawn auction of the new year.
“I bought a good tuna,” Mr Kimura told AFP after the auction. “The price was higher than originally thought, but I hope our customers will eat this excellent tuna.” Mr Kimura has been the highest bidder at the new year auction for seven of the past eight years.
On a normal day a similar sized fish would sell for around $60,000. Today’s record is in part about status – and it creates a lot of publicity for Mr Kimura and his sushi empire.
But it is also a reflection of the scarcity of large Pacific bluefin tuna. They are officially listed by the WWF (World Wildlife Fund) as an endangered species.
In 2018 catches off the coast of Japan were significantly down, and since the middle of last year prices in Tokyo have climbed by more than 40%.
SCRIPT COURTESY TO BBC NEWS
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