‘Five shining stars’ snow crab sells for world record ¥5 million in Japan


A snow crab caught in Tottori Prefecture sold for a record ¥5 million ($46,000) at an auction, the prefecture said Thursday.

The gourmet itsukiboshi (“five shining stars”) crab, weighing 1,240 grams and with a 14.6-centimeter (5.7-inch) shell, was caught after the fishing season began at midnight Tuesday. It was sold at the season’s first auction in the port of the city of Tottori.

The successful bidder was a local crab seller, Kanemasa Hamashita Shoten, which last year paid ¥2 million for an itsukiboshi crab in the first auction. That was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most ever paid for a crab.

“We came to this year’s first auction hoping that we would bid the world’s highest price again,” a company official said. “I believe it is a good crab filled with meat.”

The crab will be sold to a restaurant in Tokyo’s Ginza shopping district, the company said.

On Dec. 10 last year, after the season’s catch nearly surpassed the legal limit due to fair weather, the prefecture adopted stricter rules on the size and number of crabs that can be caught. To prevent overfishing, fishing operators will have more holidays this season and must avoid catching small crabs.

In the season’s first auction, held Wednesday in the Hyogo Prefecture town of Shin’onsen, ¥3 million was bid for a snow crab weighing 1,200 grams.



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