Bidding stopped at a whopping 14 million yen for the enormous 200-kilogramme (440-pound) fish - an endangered species - that was caught off Japan's northern coast.
The price was three times higher than last year but still far below a record 155.4 million yen paid in 2013 - when a Hong Kong restaurant chain weighed in - for a slightly larger fish of similar quality.
The New Year auction is a traditional feature at Tsukiji, where bidders pay way over the odds for the prestige of buying the first fish of the year.
But it came as Japan, the world's largest consumer of bluefin tuna, faces growing calls for a trade ban on the species, which environmentalists warn is on its way to extinction.
Yesterday's auction winner, Kiyoshi Kimura, president of the firm behind the popular Sushi-Zanmai restaurant chain, said he was 'glad to make a winning bid in the last New Year auction at Tsukiji.'


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