A 278-pound (275 pound) red bluefin tuna was sold for a record $ 333.6 million ($ 3.1 million, 2.7 million euros) in the first auction of the new Toyosu market in Japan.
The fish, estimated at 1.2 million yen per kilogram, was captured off the coast of the main Japanese island of Honshu. The buyer was Kiyoshi Kimura, chairman of the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain.
The price was more than twice the previous record of 155 million yen, which Kimura paid at the Tsukiji auction in 2013. He bought the most expensive tune at the first auction of the year 2012 by 2017.
"I bought a good tune," Kimura said. "The price was higher than we originally thought, but I hope our customers will eat this excellent tone."
The Toyosu fish market was opened in October, after the renowned Tsukiji market was closed after 83 years of activity. Tsukiji was one of Japan's most important tourist attractions and was used by top sushi chefs and regular grocery stores. The first auction of the year attracted large fish consumers who would pay the biggest dollar of the biggest and best fish.
Japan is the largest consumer of bluefin tuna in torpedo shape, and national and international demand for fish has led to overfishing of species. Experts warn of its disappearance as the bluefin tuna stocks in the Pacific dropped 96% from pre-industrial levels.
dv / sms (AFP, AP, dpa)