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

Kyodo

A snow crab caught off Tottori Prefecture sold for a record ¥5 million ($46,000) at auction, the local fisheries association said Thursday.

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

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

At last year’s auction, the same local crab seller paid ¥2 million for an itsukiboshi, which was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most ever paid for a crab.

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 thanks to fair weather, Tottori adopted stricter rules on size and number of crabs that can be caught. To prevent overfishing, companies will take more holidays this season and must avoid catching small crabs.

In the season’s first auction in the town of Shin’onsen, Hyogo Prefecture, ¥3 million was bid for a snow crab weighing 1.2 kg Wednesday.

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