By LEON WATSON
A chef holds a head of the record-breaking bluefin tuna after cutting its meat at a sushi restaurant in Tokyo
This tasty fish will set you back - to the tuna nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
Bids for the super expensive bluefin went off the scale when it was sold in the first auction of the year at Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Japan.
And when the seller reeled in a record 56.49million yen, or about $736,000 (or £475,234), for it the fish became the prize catch of the day.
Catch of the day: Sushi chefs of Kiyomura Co hold a slice of a bluefin tuna at their Sushi Zanmai restaurant near Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo
The price for the 593lb (269kg) tuna beat last year's record of 32.49million yen.
The price translates to 210,000 yen per kilogram, or $1,238 per pound - also a record, said Yutaka Hasegawa, a Tsukiji market official.
Though the fish is undoubtedly high quality, the price has more to do with the celebratory atmosphere that surrounds the first auction of the year.
Sought-after: Kiyomura Co President Kiyoshi Kimura poses with the 269kg weighted bluefin tuna auctioned at the highest price in Tsukiji Fish Market history
Japanese fish wholesalers checking the freshness and quality of large frozen tuna fish ready for auction
End of the line: The 269kg fish was sold for a record 56.49 million yen at the first auction of the year
Last year's bid winners were Hong Kong entrepreneur Ricky Cheng, who runs the Hong Kong-based chain Itamae Sushi, and an upscale Japanese restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza district.
This year's record tuna was caught off Oma, in Aomori prefecture and just north of the tsunami-battered coast.
Bluefin tuna is prized for its tender red meat. The best slices of fatty bluefin - called 'o-toro' here - can sell for 2,000 yen ($24) per piece at Tokyo sushi bars.
Bluefin tuna is prized for its tender red meat. The best slices of fatty bluefin - called 'o-toro' here - can sell for 2,000 yen ($24) per piece
Japanese eat 80 per cent of the Atlantic and Pacific bluefins caught - the most sought-after by sushi lovers
A sushi chef makes a hand-formed sushi piece with a bluefin tuna at his Sushi Zanmai restaurant
Friday, January 6, 2012
Bluefin tuna sold for a record $736,000 (that’s $96 per slice of sushi) in Japan – and the price will only get higher as stocks run dry
By LEON WATSON