Japanese Sushi Chain Forks Over $736K For 530-Pound Tuna At Auction

It’s payback time for Japan, after the best catch of the year went to a foreign buyer three years in a row. But this year, sushi lovers there will get a chance to taste part of a record $736,000, approximately 530-lb bluefin tuna, as a local company won the fish at auction. They’re also giving back to their fellow citizens by not charging exorbitant prices for the special catch.

Tokyo-based chain Kiyomura, which operates Sushi Zanmai, lugged their hefty prize away from Tsukjii, the world’s biggest fish market, says the Financial Times.

In order to break even on their splurge, Sushi Zanmai would have to charge around $74 per piece of fish for each of the roughly 10,000 pieces they’ll sell. Instead, they’ll offer up pieces for between approximately $2-$5.

“It is an auspicious occasion, so we bought the tuna without any thought of making a profit,” said Hiroshi Umehara, spokesman for privately-held Kiyomura. He added that he wanted to do something good for his country, which suffered extensive damage from the tsunami and ensuing earthquake last year.

“I pray for the recovery of the disaster areas to continue and I hope that this year will be a better year for each and every citizen,” he said.

Treating your fellow countrymen to some delectable, discounted sushi is a nice way to show your appreciation.

Japan nets record tuna prize [Financial Times]

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  1. Cat says:

    Let ‘em eat sushi.

  2. tinmanx says:

    Makes me crave for all you can eat sushi. Definitely not high quality fish, but it’s good enough with wasabi. If I ever visit Japan, my first meal is going to be sushi, just so I can taste the difference.

    • 451.6 says:

      You don’t need to break the bank either! Even the kaitenzushi places in Japan are better than most of what you’ll eat in the US. Conveyer-belt sushi places are trendy here, but they’re considered low on the sushi totem pole in Japan, so they’re a great place for a cheap and delicious lunch.

  3. Jane_Gage says:

    If they were hit with a tsunami of Minamata disease that would be ironic.

  4. VerdaMontufar says:

    He added that he wanted to do something good for his country, which suffered extensive damage from the tsunami and ensuing earthquake last year.

    Wait, the tsunami caused the earthquake?

  5. pinecone99 says:

    This move just sped up the process of extinction for the bluefin tuna.

    • jeni1122 says:

      Yep, just what I was thinking.

      I have to say however, bluefin tuna is awesome, even though I don’t order it anymore because they are endangered.

    • mister_roboto says:

      It’s over-fished, but not threatened, and still listed as “Least concerned” on it’s conservation status.

  6. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    this is horrible.

  7. kosmo @ The Soap Boxers says:

    “In order to break even on their splurge, Sushi Zanmai would have to charge around $74 per piece of fish for each of the roughly 10,000 pieces they’ll sell. Instead, they’ll offer up pieces for between approximately $2-$5.”

    Sounds a little fishy to me. What’s the catch?

    • CrankyOwl says:

      They’re doing it just for the halibut. I cod have told you that.

    • dwtomek says:

      The catch is that this story didn’t take place in our ever benevolent corporatocracy here in the good ol’ USA. Here they would have been generous enough to charge $500 a piece and then watch our collective glee as we waited for the profits to trickle down.

      • TheMansfieldMauler says:

        Yeah, and those corporatocracists would have forced people at the point of a shotgun to pay those outrageous prices and it would have absolutely not in any way been voluntary.

        • dwtomek says:

          Fair enough on the voluntary aspect. Certainly the 1% has a right to eat like the 1%. However, are you in turn defending trickle down economics as something that applies to reality, or just brushing past that?

    • ahecht says:

      Marketing. The sushi chain gets worldwide media coverage for the paltry sum of $700k. That amount would only pay for about 1/5 of a Superbowl ad, with arguably better marketing results (message of this company restoring national pride and performing a benevolent act broadcast around the world for free).

    • Harvey The Wonder Hamster says:

      Whatever they’re doing here, I bet people fall for it hook, line, and sinker.

  8. Cat says:

    As someone who has owned a fish tank and a microscope at the same time, I refuse to eat raw fish.

    Trust me.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      the tuna are frozen solid. kills the little worms.

      • Cat says:

        I’ve also worked in a kitchen, frying fish. Frozen fish.

        No, freezing doesn’t kill the little bastards, but they stop wriggling after a few seconds in a hot deep fryer.

        • The Porkchop Express says:

          I think they pick those out too. plus, you were probably dealing with scrod (if memory serves from 15 years ago) those bastards are nothing but worms in fish skin.

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      most joints (here at least) freeze the fish once they get it. this will hopefully get rid of most of the things you saw

    • Applekid ‚îÄ‚îÄ‚î¨ Ôªø„Éé( „Çú-„Çú„Éé) says:

      Which is also why you shouldn’t eat uncooked fresh-water fish. At least with salt-water fish, any baddies that stick around can’t live in you.

  9. Jack T Ripper says:

    Wow. In one of the most expensive places to buy anything, that is really generous. I can’t even get $2 sushi at my grocery store, so getting fine and genuine sushi from a catch like that for such a good deal is pretty sweet.

  10. The Porkchop Express says:

    Why did it go for that much? I mean most fish don’t go wholesale for more than $20 per pound.

    I am really curious. Is it because they like to show off that they can spend that much? Can’t be because a bigger fish tastes better (experience says they don’t)

    • tamstress says:

      It’s because they’re getting rarer by the day as they’re overfished to extinction.

    • farker22 says:

      tuna migrate into fresh water and die there but some dont migrate and stay out in the ocean – that’s how they get so big (and valuable).

    • Erika says:

      They were trying to beat the other bidders and the only way to do that is to outbid everyone else. You gotta do what you gotta do… o.O;;

  11. Lyn Torden says:

    Alert to consumerist. Please, no more links to Financial Times. Their stupid web site won’t let me read the article unless I sign up.

  12. StevePierce says:

    Three guesses where the fish is from?