The Japanese "tuna king" pays a record $ 3 million for a giant tuna – BBC News


Undoubtedly, it is one of the most expensive tuna that is remembered.

A Japanese sushi mogul paid a record this Saturday $ 3.1 million for giant tuna in the first auction of the year in the new Tokyo fish market.

O "rhey do onetunAs it is called, Kiyoshi Kimura bought a 278 kg bluefin tuna, considered an endangered species.

You mean that every pound of this fish he It cost $ 11,151.

But it is not the first time Kiyoshi Kimura spends a fortune on the auction.

In 2013, it disbursed $ 1.4 million for a bluefin tuna. At that time, the price also set a record.

Wholesalers and chain-owners of sushi restaurants, such as Kimura, often pay high prices for the best fish at the first auction of the new year.

Tuna auction in Japan.
The first New Year auction in Japan hits the highest fish prices.

"I bought good tuna"Kimura told AFP after the bidding.

"The price was higher than previously thought, but I expect our customers to eat this excellent tuna."

Kimura was the biggest competitor in the New Year's auction in seven of the last eight years.

Kiyoshi Kimura eats tuna
Kiyoshi Kimura is famous in the first tuna auctions of the year.

A record fueled by scarcity

Analysis by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, BBC correspondent in Tokyo

On a typical day, a fish of similar size would be sold for US $ 60,000.

The record this Saturday is partly due to the status it gives and generates much publicity for Kimura and his sushi empire.

But it is also a reflection of the lack of Pacific bluefin tuna that is officially listed on the World Wildlife Fund as a species in danger of extinction.

By 2018, catches off the coast of Japan were significantly reduced, and since mid-year, prices for this species in Tokyo have increased by over 40%.

The 2019 auction is the first sale of the year that took place in the new fish market of a former gas factory Toyosu, which opened in October.

The previous location in Tsukiji opened in 1935 and became the world's largest fish market and a popular tourist attraction.

However, concerns about old-fashioned fire regulations and hygiene controls have led the market to move to a larger, more modern location.

Governor of Tokyo, Yuriko Koike.
Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike attended the first New Year auction in Toyosu.

The Red List of Threatened Species of the International Union for Conservation of Nature says that bluefin tuna is "endangered," while Pacific tuna is "vulnerable."

Last month, Japan announced that it would restart commercial hunting.

The country said it would withdraw from the International Whaling Commission, which banned commercial hunting in 1986, after some species were almost brought to extinction.

Conservation groups have warned that the measure will have serious consequences.

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