Japan crab sold for $46,000 at auction

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 9, 2019

Snow crab season in Japan has started with a bang-or snap, perhaps.

A Japanese bidder has paid 5 million yen (S$62,200) at auction for a 1.2kg snow crab measuring 14.6cm across - a price that "probably set a new world record", local officials said yesterday.

The crab, described as a gourmet itsukiboshi (five shining stars) crab, will be sold to a restaurant in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district. The company previously set a world record past year when it paid $18,300 for a crab auctioned in the same place.

Snow crab, or zuwaigani in Japanese, is harvested during winter months, near Tottori as well as the waters between Osaka and Hiroshima, where it is considered a delicacy.

The crab fetched a high bid of $46,000 from crab seller Kanemasa Hamashita Shoten.

"We came to this year's first auction hoping that we would bid the world's highest price again", a company official said.

But it's not just the snow crab's sweet meat that provoked five figures.

In Japan, fishing season is celebrated with a kick-off auction, called the "festive quotation market", that took place the day after the opening of crab-hunting season on November 6.

In January a sushi entrepreneur paid £2.4million for a giant tuna at Tokyo's new Toyosu fish market, while a pair of premium Yubari melons sold for £36,000 in Hokkaido in May.

To prevent overfishing, Tottori has recently adopted stricter fishing rules regarding the size and number of crabs that can be caught.

The snow crab auctions are reminiscent of auctions held each year for bluefin tuna that command a price of millions of dollars.

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