A World record price was set for a Bluefin Tuna at Tokyo's Tsukiji Fish Market's auction Thursday in Japan. The winning bidder, Kiyoshi Kimura, President of Kiyomura Co., a sushi restaurant chain, said he wanted to liven up Japan and help it recover from last year's devastating tsunami and economic stagnation, according to media reports. The 593 lb Tuna sold for US$736,000 - the highest price for a single fish since records began in Y 1999. The price translates to 210,000 Yen per kilo, or US$1,238 lb, also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official. The Tuna was caught off Oma, in Aomori prefecture and just North of the coast that was battered by the March 11 tsunami.

Bluefin tuna is prized for its tender Red meat. The best slices of fatty Bluefin, called o-toro here, can sell for 2,000 Yen (US$24) per piece at the top Tokyo sushi bars.

In a television interview Mr. Kimura said he wanted to keep the fish in Japan rather than let it get taken overseas.

Last year's big winners were Hong Kong entrepreneur Ricky Cheng, who runs the Hong Kong-based chain Itamae Sushi, and an upscale Japanese restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza district.

Japanese eat 80% of the Atlantic and Pacific Bluefins caught, the most sought-after by sushi lovers.

Paul A. Ebeling, Jnr.