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Tuna sold for 256,000 euros at the first auction of the year in Tokyo

A bluefin tuna was sold today for 36 million yen (about 256,000 euros) at the traditional first auction of the year at the Toyosu fish market in Tokyo.

The price of the 212 kilograms of fish was more than double the amount achieved last year for a bluefin tuna (about 17 million yen, or 121,000 euros) and is the sixth highest ever paid in Tokyo’s main wholesale market, since the start of data collection in 1999.

Tokyo-based wholesale company Yamayuki and the Ginza Onodera group, owner of a chain of Michelin-starred sushi restaurants with establishments in the Japanese capital and branches in China and the United States, made the largest joint bid for tuna .

The fish was caught in waters near Oma, off the coast of Aomori in northern Japan, where experts say the best sushi fish in the world are caught.

“I wanted to generate a positive message now that the [covid-19] pandemic is weakening. The price is ideal for the first auction of the year,” said Yamayuki President Yukitaka Yamaguchi, according to Japanese news agency Kyodo.

The record for sales of tuna in the first auction of the year continues to be set in 2019, in which a bluefin tuna fetched more than 333 million yen (about 2.3 million euros). At the time, this was the first auction to be held in Toyosu, after the fish market was moved in 2018 from the famous Tsukiji in central Tokyo, at the end of a controversial process that lasted 17 years.

Over the last 15 years, the first auction of the year has been reaching astronomical prices for the best pieces because many consider this an opportunity to generate enormous media attention in obtaining a product considered “hatsumono”, or the first of the time, highly valued by the Japanese consumer.

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