The first auction of the New Year at Tokyo's Tsukiji fish market is always closely watched – high prices are a tradition.
But when the bidding was over the bluefin tuna had become the most expensive fish in history – 56.49 m yen, nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
It smashed the previous record set last year of 32.49 m yen.
The buyer was the owner of a chain of sushi restaurants. He said he wanted to liven up Japan and help the nation recover from last year's earthquake and tsunami.
The fish was caught off Aomori, just north of the coast battered by the disaster.
At 269 kg it's a giant. But even so when cut up into sushi each mouthful works out at 5,000 yen, more than $65.
The restaurant chain though will sell it for its usual tuna prices, between $1.60 and $5.40 per piece, depending on the cut.
Roland Buerk, BBC News, Tokyo
auction – public sale where the person who offers most money receives the goods
closely watched – followed with particular attention
the bidding – the offering of money at an auction
smashed (a record) – easily broke (a record)
a chain (of restaurants) – a group of restaurants with similar appearance, name and shared central management
to liven up – to bring happiness and cheer
recover – to go back to the way it was (before a disaster, illness etc)
mouthful – a piece of food small enough to be eaten in one bite
works out at – is calculated to be
Виды рыб на английском языке
окунь – perch; bass
щука – pike; (морская) ling
килька – sprat, brisling
камбала – plaice, flounder, sole, flatfish
карп – carp
сельдь – herring
осётр – sturgeon
лосось – salmon
акула – shark; (некрупная) dogfish
сардина – pilchard