A Bluefin tuna sold for nearly three-quarters of a million dollars at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market on Thursday. The fish caught off the northeastern Japanese shore, Oma, was sold for a record amount at 56.49 million yen (about $736,000) and a record $1,238 per pound.
The steep price for the tuna was attributed to the celebratory atmosphere of the first fish auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji market rather than the quality of the fish.
Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., was the winning bidder of the Bluefin tuna. He told reporters that he wanted to give Japan a boost after last year's tsunami. After his purchase, The Daily Telegraph reports Kimura divided the fish into 10,000 pieces to be sold.
Japan has been through a lot the last year due to the disaster, a pleased Kimura told AP Television News. Japan needs to hang in there. So I tried hard myself and ended up buying the most expensive one.
Pacific Bluefin tuna is highly valued among sushi lovers for its tender red meat and slices are served as o-toro. At Tokyo sushi bars, a slice of fatty Bluefin can be sold at 2,000 yen or $24 per piece.
The Associated Press reports that a sushi-zanmai shop in Tsujiki sold the prized fatty suna for 418 yen ($5.45) per piece on Thursday.
It's superb. I can do nothing but smile. I am very happy, said Kosuke Shimogawara, a 51-year-old customer. He explained that if the fish were sold at the price Kimura had purchased it for, each piece of sushi could cost as much as 8,000 yen ($96).
It's unbelievable. President Kimura is so generous. I have to say thank you to him, he said.
The previous record for bluefish tuna was from last year, when the fish sold for a record 32.49 million yen (about $416,000).