He spent more than twice the previous record of $1.4m, which he paid in 2013. Mr Kimura, who runs the popular Sushi Zanmai chain, has been the highest bidder at the new year auction for seven of the past eight years.The fish had 278kg (612 pounds). The fish normally sells for up to $40 a pound, but the price rises to over $200 a pound near the year’s end. Japanese are the biggest consumers of the torpedo-shaped bluefin tuna.
Prepared tuna at Sushi Zanmai chain
Pacific bluefin tuna are officially listed as an endangered species. The country said it would withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC), which banned commercial whaling in 1986 after some species were driven almost to extinction. “I bought a good tuna,” Kimura said after the auction. “The price was higher than originally thought, but I hope our customers will eat this excellent tuna.” The 2019 auction is the first new year sale to take place at the new fish market on the site of a former gas plant in Toyosu.Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said: “I sincerely hope this market will be loved by many people.”