A Bryde's whale auction was held on Thursday in Sendai — the first since Japan ended its 31-year commercial whaling hiatus a month ago — with cuts of the single animal on offer sold for up to ¥20,000 ($183) per kilogram.

Bryde's whale meat is expected to become the most widely available whale product for consumers, as the catch quota for the species is the largest among all those now commercially hunted by Japanese fleets.

The auction started at 6 a.m. at a market in the city. Participants also ate whale sashimi during a tasting event held in conjunction with the sale.

Some 70 Bryde's whales have been caught in the sea south of Aichi Prefecture and other waters after Japan restarted commercial whaling on July 1, following its withdrawal from the International Whaling Commission.

"The reaction has been good. I'd like many people to enjoy the deliciousness" of whale meats, said Eiji Mori, president of Tokyo-based whaling firm Kyodo Senpaku Co., which caught the whale.

Auctions selling the meat of smaller-sized minke whales have already been held since Japan restarted whaling.