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Bluefin sold for $3 million in 1st 2019 sale at Tokyo market

Prospective buyers inspect the quality of tuna before the first auction of the year at the newly opened Toyosu Market, the new site of Tokyo's fish market, on Jan. 5, 2019, in Tokyo. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) -- A 612-pound (278-kilogram) bluefin tuna sold for a record 333.6 million yen ($3 million) in the first auction of 2019, after Tokyo's famed Tsukiji market was moved to a new site on the city's waterfront.

The winning bid for the prized but threatened species at the predawn auction was more than double the 2013 annual New Year auction.

It was paid by Kiyomura Corp., whose owner Kiyoshi Kimura runs the Sushi Zanmai chain. Kimura has often won the annual auction in the past.

Japanese broadcaster NHK showed a beaming Kimura saying that he was surprised by the high price of tuna this year. He added: "The quality of the tuna I bought is the best."

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