TOKYO (JAPAN) – Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market was in for a huge surprise when a bluefin tuna sold for 20.8 million yen ($202,197) in the first auction of the new year at on Tuesday when it reopened after the holiday break.
This was sharply down from the 193 million yen the highest-selling tuna fetched at last year’s first Toyosu auction. Selling prices in the first tuna auction fluctuate widely from year to year in Japan, with a record 333.6 million yen paid in 2019.
One major bidder, Kiyomura Corp, said they had refrained from bidding high this year out of fear that a large number of customers would be inspired to flock to their restaurants since high bids for high quality tuna usually attract media attention.
The government has said eating and drinking out is one of the major causes of coronavirus infections.
“The spread of the new coronavirus will eventually be contained when vaccines and treatment will be in widespread use,” said Koh Ehara, president of wholesale company Tohto Suisan.
“Until that day comes, we, as one team of all in this market, are determined to continue with the stable supply of fresh food without disruption.”