Giant tuna sells for record $173,600



Most expensive fish (January 5, 2001)


An enormous Bluefin tuna -- a fish prized as sushi -- sold for a record $173,600 Friday in the first auction of the year at Tokyo's main fish market.

At $391 a pound (P 43,010 per kilo), the 444-pound fish was the most expensive auctioned off at the Tsukiji Central Fish Market in years. In 1996, a 250-pound Bluefin fetched $44,100.

Called honmaguro in Japanese, Bluefin tuna is popularly served raw as sashimi or sushi in restaurants where a plate of slices can command a bill of more than $100.

Both fish were caught in the Pacific Ocean off Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan, an area known for the quality of its tuna.

"It's kind of like a brand name," market official Takashi Yoshida said.

Yoshida declined to identify the buyer, but speculated that he may have been willing to pay a premium because the fish auctioned Friday was the first catch put on the block this year.

Tsukiji is the largest of Tokyo's 11 wholesale fish markets, handling about 90 percent of the seafood that ends up on the city's tables.


2nd Most expensive fish

            In January, 1992, a 324 kilogram (715-lb) Bluefin Tuna sold for $ 83,500 (US) or P 3,372,565 (Philippine Peso) - almost $ 117 per pound or  $ 257.72 per kilogram or P 10,409.31 per kilogram - in Tokyo, Japan. The tuna was reduced to 2,400 servings of sushi for wealthy diners at $ 75 or P 3,029.25 per serving. The estimated takings from this one fish were $ 180,000 or  P 7,270,200.

Guinness Book of World Records - Millennium Edition