TOKYO (The Blaze/AP) — This tuna is worth savoring: Its record-setting cost was nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
The bluefin tuna caught off northeastern Japan fetched 56.49 million yen, or about $736,000, Thursday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market. The price for the 269-kilogram (593-pound) tuna beat the then record-setting 32.49 million yen fish we reported on last year.
The price translates to 210,000 yen per kilogram, or $1,238 per pound — also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official.
The winning bidder is Kiyoshi Kimura, president of the sushi restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai. Media reports quote him saying that he wants to "liven up Japan" and help it recover from last year's devastating tsunami and economic stagnation.
The Telegraph has more on Kimura's thoughts on the purchase:
"Rather than having it taken away overseas, my wish is for Japanese people to be able to enjoy good tuna together," Kimura told reporters after landing his record catch.
"Despite the March 11 earthquake and the sluggish economy, I want to lift up Japan's spirits and urge people to work hard together," he said.
The Telegraph goes on to report that Kimura would not increase the price of sushi made with the fish at his 46 Sushi Zanmai restaurants in Tokyo.
Watch The Telegraph's news report on the sale:
The tuna was caught off Aomori prefecture.
In other large, expensive tuna news, we reported in Nov. 2011 about a man who caught a 881-pound tuna valued at nearly $400,000 off the coast of Massachusetts and had it confiscated by the feds. According to reports, the tuna was confiscated because it was caught with a net and not a rod.