Chinese restaurant owner lands US$39,000 ‘King of Fish’ in sizzling auction

Giant of the sea among the first catch of the season to be dished up to bidders in Guangxi

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 August, 2018, 3:19pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 August, 2018, 6:22pm

A massive fish that sold at auction for 270,000 yuan (US$39,300) in southern China on Saturday will be chopped up and served to restaurant customers, according to the winning bidder.

The 78kg grouper was among the first catch of the new fishing season to go under the hammer in Beihai, in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, Beijing Youth Daily reported.

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Fishermen estimated the animal, caught near the port early Saturday morning soon after the lifting of the seasonal maritime ban, was about 30 or 40 years old because it was 1.5 metres long, the report said.

In China, eating part of the first catch of the season is thought to bring good luck.

Bids for the fish – dubbed the “King of Fish” – started at 21,888 yuan and reached 270,000 yuan after 10 minutes.

“There was a serious, competitive atmosphere for the King of Fish, because every businessperson here wanted to own it,” one observer was quoted as saying.

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The winning bidder was a restaurant owner who said she planned to dish it up and sell it to her customers.

Seven other varieties of fish were auctioned at the event, bringing in 400,000 yuan in total for local charitable causes, the report said.