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Not working for scale: Tuna sets record price

By the CNN Wire Staff
At the New Year tuna auction in Tokyo, a 754-pound  giant bluefin tuna sold for a record 32.49 million yen, or $396,000.
At the New Year tuna auction in Tokyo, a 754-pound giant bluefin tuna sold for a record 32.49 million yen, or $396,000.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The record-setting fish will be split by a Tokyo restaurant and a Hong Kong chain
  • The first auction of the New Year typically brings the highest prices
  • Sushi is increasingly popular across Asia, not just Japan

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) -- This could amount to some pretty pricey sushi.

A giant bluefin tuna caught off the coast of northern Japan went for a record 32.49 million yen (about $396,000) at an auction Wednesday, the Tokyo Metropolitan Central Wholesale Market said.

The price was the highest for a tuna since the market began keeping track in 1999.

It all breaks down to about 95,000 yen per kilogram, or about $527 a pound, for the 342-kilogram (754-pound) fish.

The bluefin, caught off Hokkaido in northern Japan, was "an excellent quality" said Yosuke Imada, the owner of the high-end Kyubei sushi restaurant in Tokyo.

The catch will be split by Imada and Hong Kong's Itamae Sushi chain.

"It became a bit too expensive," Imada said answering questions after the record bidding. "But the people would talk about it a while."

The New Year auction, the first of 2011, typically brings some of the highest prices of the year and is considered to be very symbolic.

The record price reflects the increasing demand for high-quality fresh tuna, especially throughout Asia, with competition between Japanese and Chinese buyers intensifying in recent years.

CNN's Yoko Wakatsuki contributed to this report.

 
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