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Japanese Sushi Mogul Drops $37,500 on a Single Bluefin Tuna

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The prized sushi ingredient is severely overfished.

Kimura and his $37,500 prize.
Kimura and his $37,500 prize.
Ken Ishii/Getty Images

A Japanese restaurateur rang in 2015 by dropping stacks of cash on fish. According to the Associated Press, sushi chain owner Kiyoshi Kimura was the highest bidder on a 400-pound bluefin tuna auctioned off "at the re-opening of the Tsukiji market after the New Year’s break." The fish went for a cool $37,500.

Kimura has a reputation for dropping serious coin on bluefin: In 2013, he set a record for purchasing the most expensive bluefin ever when he bought a 488-pounder for a whopping $1.76 million, making this most recent buy seem like a relative bargain. That price was partially the result of a bidding war with another restaurateur, but it also speaks to the rising costs of sushi fish in general: As AP points out, "the popularity of tuna for sushi and sashimi has depleted stocks globally," something that sushi master Jiro Ono has spoken out about. The subject of the acclaimed documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi recently told the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan that he can't "imagine at all that sushi in the future will be made of the same materials we use today" thanks to the overfishing of species such as bluefin and abalone.

Running for over 75 years now, Tsujiki is the world's largest wholesale fish market and is a major attraction for tourists who come from far and wide to observe people like Kimura dropping armfuls of cash on hundreds of different varieties of seafood.

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