The most expensive piece of seafood sold at Tokyo’s largest fish market was a bluefin tuna
The massive bluefin tuna weighing nearly 525 pounds was sold at auction on the opening day of business for 2024.
It was purchased by seafood wholesaler Yamayuki and a sushi chain for nearly $800,000.
Yamayuki and sushi chain Onodera group have purchased the market’s priciest fish of the new season for four years running.
“If we were going to do it, we wanted to win,” Yamayuki president Yukitaka Yamaguchi told reporters that had assembled upon the auction’s conclusion.
The tuna, caught off the coast of Aomori Prefecture, will be served as sushi at Onodera, a Michelin-starred sushi restaurant in the Japanese capital’s ritzy Ginza district, The Japan Times writes.
The sale of the tuna was the fourth-highest sale since recordkeeping began in 1999. It was also the highest price paid for a tuna at the bustling Toyosu Fish Market since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The tuna sold for more than triple the price of the most expensive fish sold at 2023’s first-of-the-year auction, sparking hopes of a market rebound after the pandemic put downward pressure on fish prices alongside Japanese tourism and restaurant business.
The record for the highest fish sale was set in 2019 when Kiyoshi “Tuna King” Kimura, a Japanese sushi restaurant chain owner, paid 333.6 million yen ($3.1 million) for a 613-pound bluefin at the annual auction.
He later admitted to reporters that he paid five times what he had expected.
“The tuna looks so tasty and very fresh, but I think I did too much,” Kimura said outside the market after the 2019 auction.