06 January, 2017
Kiyoshi Kimura, right, cuts a 212-kilogram bluefin tuna at his main sushi restaurant in Tokyo on January 5, 2017. In 2013, his bid of 155.4 million yen for a 222-kilogram fish is the highest on record.
Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns Kiyomura Corp., bid a winning 74.2 million yen ($632,000) for a bluefin tuna that, at 212 kilograms (466 pounds), weighed as much as two or three people.
In Japan, some foods made available for the first time of the year are considered good luck, especially bluefin tuna.
The New Year fish auction could be the last at Tsukiji, which was supposed to be relocated last November to make way for a road for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The bluefin tuna was traded at 70,000 Dollars (7.36 million yen) at the wholesale market.
The $912,000 bid for the bluefin tuna was the second-highest ever.
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Sushi entrepreneur Kiyoshi Kimura pays top price at the first auction of the new year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market.
Pacific bluefin are already depleted by more than 97% from historic levels, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts.
"We've been in turmoil as the timing of the relocation has not been fixed yet", an official of a fish wholesaler said, addressing participants of the auction.
The now sold fish was caught off Oma, Aomori Prefecture, on the northernmost part of Japan's main island of Honshu.
Meanwhile, bluefin stocks around the world are still considered by many to be overfished, despite efforts by some countries to tighten restrictions. The month before, about a dozen environmental groups petitioned the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to list the species as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.