In $1.7 million you could get a $400,000 Rolls Royce or a Birkin Bag or even a limited edition Montegrappa Pen. However, for Kiyoshi Kimura, the Sushi Zanmai chain owner, $1.7 million bought him a 489lb Bluefin tuna. Mr.Kimura beat his own record-setting price from last year, which was for a $736,000 Bluefin tuna. Seafood is quickly becoming an expensive market with a rare golden fish being sold to a Chinese businessman for $38,000. High bids usually mark the opening auction at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market; the bids do not necessarily represent the quality or size of the fish but are instead more of a publicity stunt to set the tone for the upcoming business year. This year’s prizewinner, the Bluefin tuna, was actually 47 kg lighter than last year’s record-breaking tuna. This auction is, of course, mired in controversy as environmentalists continue to raise concerns about the sustainability of this expensive fish.
There has been a continuous decline in Pacific Bluefin tuna, with Japan consuming over half the world’s Bluefin catch. At $3,500 per pound, even Kimura admits that the price is perhaps “a bit high.” Mr.Kimura immediately carted his incredibly expensive fish to a nearby branch of his Sushi Zanmai Chain. The auctions and record-breaking prices are sure to encourage tourist activity in the district.