Bluefin tuna fetches nearly $800,000 at Tokyo New Year auction


A giant bluefin tuna fetched a record 114.24 million yen ($789,000) at a New Year’s auction in Tokyo on Friday.

About the tuna: Weighing 238 kilograms (524.7 pounds), the tuna was caught off the coast of Oma in northeast Japan’s Aomori Prefecture. The area is known for having some of the best tuna in the country.

About the auction: The auction, an annual New Year’s tradition, was held for the first time at the fish market in Toyosu — a popular tourist attraction in Tokyo — after it relocated from neighboring Tsukiji. Friday’s event reportedly started at around 5:10 a.m., featuring an array of tuna.

About the winner: The price of the giant tuna, which bested last year’s 36.04 million yen ($248,000), was the fourth highest since records began in 1999. Yamayuki, a Tokyo-based wholesaler, and Onodera Group, a sushi chain operator, jointly purchased the coveted tuna, Bloomberg reported.

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The team has won the auction’s top fish for four straight years. Yamayuki President Yukitaka Yamaguchi said they had “mixed feelings” about participating due to the earthquake that destroyed central Japan on New Year’s Day.

“We had mixed feelings about whether we should refrain from participating, but we decided to go for it in the belief that we also need positive news,” he said, as per Kyodo News. He added that the tuna’s “freshness and vibrant color” sealed the deal.


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