Tuna Auctioned at Record $3 Million at Tokyo’s New Fish Market.

A Japanese restaurant chain paid over three million dollars (333.6 million yen) in a record New Year auction at Tokyo’s new fish market.
“The tuna looks so tasty and very fresh, but I think I did too much,” Kiyoshi Kimura, the owner of the Sushizanmai restaurant chain told reporters after the auction. The price Kimura paid for the 278 kilograms (613 pounds) bluefin tuna caught off the coast of Japan’s Aomori prefecture is double the price he had paid six years ago. In 2013, he set a record for buying a tuna at 1.7 million dollars. Shortly after the auction, the record-breaking tuna was transported to one of the sushi chain’s outlets located in Tsukiji, the old fish market. The auction was the first New Year bid of the new Toyosu market after the iconic Tsukiji fish market was closed to make way to provide temporary parking for the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics. Tuna is prized around the world for its use in sushi, but experts warn growing demand has made it an endangered species. The high bidder, Kiyoshi Kimura, the self-styled “King of Tuna,” runs the Sushi Zanmai chain of restaurants. He paid 333.6 million yen, or over $3 million, for the 612-pound bluefin, a value of around $4,900 per pound.Mr. Kimura has made it a habit of paying record prices for highly sought fish. Saturday’s purchase broke his own record of 155.4 million yen, or about $1.76 million, that he paid for a 488-pound bluefin, in 2013. The tuna was taken to one of his restaurants near the old fish market, according to a tweet on the Sushi Zanmai account. Photos show a smiling Mr Kimura with several staff members behind a large cut of the fish. The bluefin tuna, one of an endangered species, was caught off Japan's northern coast. The species, the world’s largest tuna, can live up to 40 years but has become critically endangered in recent years because of overfishing, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature. Fishermen, driven by the high value, have begun using advanced techniques to catch the prized fish, leaving the population on the verge of collapse. An estimated 80 per cent of the world’s catch of bluefin tuna goes to Japan for use in sushi and sashimi, and the country has opted out of global conservation efforts in the past.per pound.