A Japanese Businessman Just Bought a $1.8 Million Tuna
Who's hungry for sushi?!
Not sure what you usually pay for a can of tuna, but it’s probably – no, it’s definitely -- less than Kiyoshi Kimura just spent for the first bluefin tuna auctioned off this year at Tokyo’s Toyosu Fish Market.
The Japanese businessman, whose Tokyo-based company, Kiyomura Corp., operates a sushi restaurant chain, Sushizanmai, shelled out an eye-popping $1.8 million at the market’s first auction of 2020, held before dawn on Sunday, for a 608-pound monster of a fish that had been caught off of Aomori Prefecture, in the north of Japan. If you do the math (or accept the math thatothers have done), that comes out to approximately $2,960 per pound.
And if you’re saying to yourself, Sheesh! That has to be some sort of a record, well, not quite. Kimura, who goes by the nickname “Sushi King,” paid $3.1 million for a 612-pound tuna last year. That one was, yes, the most expensive fish ever sold; it broke the previous record also held by Kimura, who paid $1.4 million for a fish in 2014 and has been the highest bidder at the new year auction for eight of the last nine years, according to the BBC.
Clearly the guy likes pricey fish – and starting off year after year with a headline-grabbing photo op.
"This is the best," Kimura told reporters following his big 2020 auction score, AFP reports. "Yes, this is expensive, isn't it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year too."
Still, not everyone is impressed – and some environmentalists are downright distressed – by all the attention Kimura is raking in for his big purchase.
“The [Pacific bluefin tuna] population has been decimated to just 3.3% of its historic level by nearly a century of overfishing,” the Pew Environment, which works to set policy on ocean conservation, tweeted, quoting its International Fisheries teammember Jamie Gibbon.
Gibbon tweeted out his own lament: “The media once again ignores the severe depleted status of the population to focus on the eye-popping price. Even though Pacific bluefin is down to 3% of its historic size, catches will be allowed to increase this year.”
Pacific bluefin tuna is listed as a fish to “avoid” on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch site. And not just because you can’t afford it …