Tokyo, Japan (Reuters) - Japan's first tuna auction of the year opened on Sunday (January 5) with a popular sushi chain owner purchasing one tuna for approximately $70,000, the highest price paid during this year's auction.
The 230 kg bluefin tuna caught off Oma, Aomori prefecture, northern Japan, was sold at a price of 7.36 million yen ($70,324) in the first tuna auction of the year, which is cheaper than last year's record price of 155.40 million yen ($1,762,700).
Kiyomura Company President and owner of the popular sushi chain, Sushi Zanmai, Kiyoshi Kimura, said he purchased six fish.
"Today, I bought six delicious tunas. We are able to eat a lot, and well," Kiyoshi Kimura said from the open display window of his head shop in the Tsukiji market area.
The bluefish tuna is prized by sushi aficionados as a high-end treat and often the most expensive fish available for bidding on at the Tsukiji fish auction.
Tuna is one of the fish dearest to Japanese hearts, and bluefin one of the most prized of tunas, with Japan consuming over half of the world's bluefin even as supplies dwindle and fishing quotas are tightened.
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Pia Hontiveros, Chief Correspondent and anchor of Solar Network News and News.Ph, presents the Solar News and Current Affairs year-ender special: On the Cusp of Change. A deafening silence, not out of a loss for words but a grief that cannot be spoken, for thousands lost to a super typhoon ... A muted pain from a powerful tremor that violently shook the heart of the nation ... An unspeakable anger over pork barrel that fueled a political maelstrom ... These and other stories from the extraordinary challenging year that was.