A Chinese billionaire, Kiyoshi Kimura, has spent 72 million yen or $614,000 for a Pacific bluefin tuna weighing 212 kilogram or 467 pound on New Year’s fish auction which took place at the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo, Reuters reports.
Kimura is the president of the Kiyomura Corp which owns the popular Sushizanmai restaurant chain and will be winning fish auctions for the sixth year at a row. He paid 14 million yen for a fish auctioned in 2016 and 155 million yen for a winning fish auction in 2013.
The tuna fish Kimura bought was caught off the coast of northern Japan.
The Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo is the largest fish market in the world, and may be relocated elsewhere since the government plans to make a road through it to facilitate the approaching Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Environmental concerns on the proposed new site have been causing delay in relocating the 80-year-old market, and the delay is creating worry to several fish dealers who do not know how to proceed because of the impending relocation.
The market was first proposed to be relocated 15 years ago, but this is yet to be done at the moment. The government is worried that the proposed new site could trigger toxic and environmental pollutions since a gas plant used to be there before.
Meanwhile, the Pacific bluefin tuna caught and auctioned at the fish market is facing overfishing concerns and conservation advocates are calling that the fish be spared from fishing for a number of years to allow their populations recover.
“This tuna is being fished at rates up to three times higher than scientists say is sustainable,” said Amanda Nickson, director of global tuna conservation at The Pew Charitable Trusts. The bluefin tuna is regarded as the king of sushi in Asia and many other parts of the world.