Bluefin tuna sells for $320000 at New Year auction in Tokyo

This 892-pound bluefin tuna sells for $320,000 Friday at the annual New Year auction at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The market is expected to open at its new location Toyosu on Oct. 11

This 892-pound bluefin tuna sells for $320,000 Friday at the annual New Year auction at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. The market is expected to open at its new location Toyosu on Oct. 11

This selling price has crossed all the records so far.

Hiroshi Onodera, the president of the company that owns the "Ginza Onodera" chain of restaurants - of which there is one near Green Park in London - is said to have paid 36.45 million yen for the 405 kilogramme fish, which equates to about £590 per kilogramme.

The Tsukiji wholesale food market in Tokyo held its first auction of the year on Friday. Kimura has often won the annual auction in the past. "It's wrapped in with the ceremonial aspects of the auction", said Jamie Gibbon, an expert at the Pew Charitable Trusts' global conservation team.

A giant Tuna was sold here on Friday for $323,300.

Japanese are the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna, and surging consumption here and overseas has led to overfishing of the species.


In 2017, governments, including Japan, agreed to a plan to rebuild the species to 20% of historic levels by 2034, the minimum levels scientists says is necessary to protect it.

There are also real concerns about the market stability of bluefin tuna.

For the last seven years, the person making the largest winning bid has been the self-described "King of Tuna" Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushi Zanmai chain in Japan. But he added, "We want to see countries reaffirm their commitment to strong domestic management so that they don't exceed their catch quotas". That's the 4th-highest auction price of its kind on record.

"Tsukiji is the world's number-one fish market". Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike postponed the relocation but after months of political haggling and uncertainty she announced the move would go ahead. The plan to move was unpopular with numerous businesses in and around the market.

She then found a series of problems with the new site in Toyosu, including soil and groundwater contamination as well as the discovery that contractors had inexplicably failed to fill in a basement at the new site with clean soil as a buffer against underground pollution.

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