Businessman buys large tuna for $1.8 million

A Japanese businessman dropped a whopping $1.8 million on a massive tuna fish at a New Year’s auction at the Toyosu fish market in Tokyo on Jan. 5, according to CNN

Kiyoshi Kimura, the so-called “Tuna King” who heads restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai, paid 193 million yen for a 608-pound bluefin tuna, the network noted, citing Japanese public broadcaster NHK. 

“This is the best,” Kimura told reporters, according to the AFP news agency. “Yes, this is expensive, isn’t it? I want our customers to eat very tasty ones this year, too.”

Though the price was extremely high, it reportedly fell well short of the $3.1million (333.6 million yen) Kimura paid for a 612-pound fish the year before. 

In an interview with Business Insider last year, chef Derek Wilcox — who trained in Japan for 10 years — revealed that bluefin tuna tends to be the most sought-after fish among sushi restaurants. 

“Only bluefin has the intense marbling,” he said. “Bluefin also, when it’s aged properly, has a particular balance of flavors.”

The price of a bluefin tuna depends on a variety of factors, including where it’s caught. One reeled in off the east coast of the United States, for example, could cost between $20 and $40 a pound, Wilcox said. But a bluefin tuna caught in Japan and sent to the U.S. could cost upwards of $400 a pound, he added. 

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