Tokyo, Jan 5 (EFE).- A bluefin tuna sold for 16.88 million yen ($145,400) in the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Toyosu market on Wednesday, the third consecutive year of price drops due to the pandemic.
Weighing 211 kilograms, the tuna was caught near Oma, on the coast of Aomori prefecture, and was acquired in a joint offer by the wholesaler Yamayuki and the Onodera group, owner of a chain of sushi restaurants that has a Michelin star to its name.
Last year, a bluefin tuna was sold for 20.84 million yen, following the 193.2 million yen paid in 2020, after almost a decade of record figures that the coronavirus ended.
Market attendees prayed for a prosperous year and at 5 am the bell began the intense bidding for the best fresh and frozen tuna caught in Japan and other parts of the world.
As a preventive measure against Covid-19, the number of attendees at the auction was limited for the second year.
It was the fourth auction at the Toyosu market, after the world’s largest fish market was moved in 2018 from its old, central location in Tsukiji in a controversial process that took 17 years.
In the first auction of the year, extremely high prices are usually reached in Tokyo, where the record was made in 2019.
On that occasion, and as had been the case since 2011, the popular restaurant chain Sushi Zanmai paid 333.6 million yen ($2.9 million), the highest figure reached by a specimen of bluefin tuna since records began in 1999.
Going to the tuna auction was one of the big tourist attractions in Tokyo, but since the opening of the new facilities and the arrival of the pandemic, there have been hardly any visits and the employees work almost solitarily. EFE