Rafael and his crew were using nets to catch bottom-dwellers when they inadvertently snagged the giant tuna. However, federal fishery enforcement agents took control of the behemoth when the boat returned to port. The reason for the seizure was procedural: While Rafael had tuna permits, fishermen are by law only allowed to catch tuna with a rod and reel.
How pissed is that guy right about now? Anyone wanna bet which party he’ll be voting for in 2012?
Kiyoshi Kimura said he sprang for the 593-pound tuna to boost Japan’s flagging fish economy, which was ravaged by the tsunami and earthquake of March 2011.
“Japan has been through a lot the last year due to the disaster,” Kiyoshi Kimura, president of Kiyomura Co., which operates the Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, told The Associated Press.
“Japan needs to hang in there. So I tried hard myself and ended up buying the most expensive one.”
The winning bid, 56.49 million yen, set a record, nearly doubling last year’s high bid of 32.49 million yen, or about $416,000, AP reported.
The record-setting whopper was reeled in off the coast of Oma, in Aomori prefecture, just north of the tsunami’s strike zone.
In a further act of New Year’s charity, Kimura had the fish, which he purchased at the first auction of the year, fileted into 10,000 pieces and sold to sushi vendors at regular prices.