The Hefty Tuna That Sold For Over $3 Million

If your sushi business has 42 stores in one city alone, you probably get used to hunting for quality fish to serve your customers. That's precisely what Kiyoshi Kimura sets out to do. According to Arab News Japan, even amid economic challenges for his company, Kimura said, "We want to energize our customers by serving the tastiest tuna at cheap prices.". Sushi Zanmai, Kimura's Tokyo-based chain of restaurants, dishes up sushi throughout the country (via Yum Passport). Zanmai, which translates to indulgence, has evolved from Tokyo's sushi epicenter Tsukiji, notes Tokyo Cheapo; while some of the stores offer conveyor belts of sushi and sashimi, most feature the dishes in display cases. To keep restaurants stocked, Kimura is a regular attendee at fish auctions in Tokyo's city center.

In 2018, the famous Tsukiji Market relocated to Toyosu and remains one of the top places to find fresh seafood, according to Japan Guide. CNBC reports the Tsukiji market space was even converted into a parking area before Tokyo's 2020 Olympics. Known as the "Tuna King," Kimura is a familiar face at the market and has become known for his extravagant bids.

Smashing bidding records

Kimura obliterates even his own bidding records at the tuna auctions. He has shelled out $1.8 million for a 608-pound tuna, reports CNBC, but the highest amount was $3.1 million for a 612-pound fish. He told reporters, "The tuna looks so tasty and very fresh, but I think I did too much."

National Geographic describes bluefin tuna as one of the fastest, largest, and most beautiful fish discovered. By constantly feeding on squid, eels, and smaller fish, the species can grow to massive sizes. The world's largest bluefin tuna on record clocked in at nearly 1,500 pounds when it was caught in 1979, notes Marlin. Bluefin tuna, according to Foods Guy, is the fattiest tuna species and has a slightly salty flavor and dense muscular texture. Because of the high prices these fish can fetch, overfishing has become a problem for the species, notes the World Wildlife Foundation. The organization has been working to preserve and protect the tuna from illegal fishing practices. We'll have our eye on Kimura to see if he smashes his record again by buying another gargantuan fish for millions.