Photograph by Shuji Kajiyama/AP Photo

Seven Mouthwatering Photos of That $1.8 Million Tuna

  1. One Big, Expensive Fish

    One Big, Expensive Fish

    In the first auction of the year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market on Jan. 5, this 489-pound bluefin tuna fetched a record $1.76 million, nearly three times the previous high set last year. Bidders began arriving two hours before the auction’s 5:30 a.m. start time. Winning bidder Kiyoshi Kimura, president of sushi chain Kiyomura, had the fish carried to the company's nearby Sushi Zanmai restaurant.

    Photograph by Shuji Kajiyama/AP Photo
  2. First Slice

    First Slice

    Kiyoshi Kimura cuts the $1.76 million bluefin tuna at Sushi Zanmai restaurant. This is the second time Kiyomura beat out Itamae Sushi Japan, an affiliate of Hong Kong-based Taste of Japan Group, in Tsukiji's auction for the first tuna, which is believed to be an auspicious prize.

    Photograph by Koji Sasahara/AP Photo
  3.  That’s a Lot of Sushi

    That’s a Lot of Sushi

    A Sushi Zanmai employee shows off the head of the prize tuna. The fish, caught off the coast of the northeastern Aomori prefecture, is large enough to be carved into about 10,000 pieces of sushi.

    Photograph by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP via Getty Images
  4. Not for Profit

    Not for Profit

    Based on the estimated $176 Kiyomura paid for each piece of sushi and the minimum $1.47 it charges per serving, the company could lose as much as $1.75 million on the purchase, reports Bloomberg News. The publicity is worthwhile: Winning the first tuna is seen as good luck, and company President Kimura said he aims instead to offer consumers some encouragement.

    Photograph by Kimimasa Mayama/EPA
  5. The Blues of the Bluefin Tuna

    The Blues of the Bluefin Tuna

    The high price of bluefin tuna encourages fishermen to overfish the species, driving it toward extinction, according to conservation group Oceana.

    Photograph by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP via Getty Images
  6. Sushi Demand

    Sushi Demand

    The Japanese eat more fish than any other developed country, Bloomberg News reports. Per capita, Japanese consume about 128 pounds annually, compared with a global average of 37.7 pounds, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization.

    Photograph by Koji Sasahara/AP Photo
  7. Sushi Therapy

    Sushi Therapy

    Kimura said that while the price of the record-breaking bluefin was high, he wanted to “encourage Japan by providing good tuna,” according to Kyodo News agency.

    Photograph by Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images