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 - 56.49m yen, nearly three-quarters of a million dollars.
It smashed the previous record set last year of 32.49m yen.www.ExamW.CoM
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 269kg 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.