‘Tuna King’ spends $2.6 million on massive endangered fish
This tuna was off the scales.
Self-described "Tuna King" Kiyoshi Kimura on Sunday forked over 193 million yen - roughly $1.8 million - for a 276kg bluefin tuna at Tokyo's Toyosu fish market, according to the Japan Times.
Mr Kimura, president of Kiyomura Corp., the Tokyo-based operator of the restaurant chain Sushizanmai, was elated at the New Year oppor-tuna-ty to snatch the big fish, which was caught off the Aomori region of northern Japan.
"This is the best," Mr Kimura told reporters after the pre-dawn auction, according to Agence France-Presse. "Yes, this is expensive, isn't it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year too."
He added: "I am even more happy as this was the first auction in Reiwa," referring to the new imperial era that started in May.
The company said the fish would be served at the chain's outlet in nearby Tsukiji.
Despite the price, Mr Kimura's purchase isn't the highest amount he's paid for a tuna. Last year, Mr Kimura paid a record $3.1 million for a 278kg tuna.
Bluefin, the largest tuna, are an endangered species and can live up to 40 years, according to the World Wildlife Fund.
The number of wild bluefin put up for bids this year was 72 - up 13 from last year.
This article originally appeared on the New York Post and was reproduced with permission