Man shells out record-breaking $46K for meaty snow crab

Seafood lovers have been known to clamor for crab — and all-out mob scenes have erupted over clusters. But one man upped the ante on the crustacean craze Thursday, forking over 5 million yen (about $46,000) for one sea critter.

As one might expect, it is considered the highest price ever paid for crab, according to the auctioneers in Tottori, Japan. The costly creature, a male snow crab, was 14.6 centimeters (5.74 inches) wide and weighed 1.2 kilograms (2.7 pounds).

Tetsuji Hamashita, president of fish wholesaler Hanashita Shoten, took home the record-breaking prize, with plans to send it to a few of Tokyo’s finest restaurants.

“I know it’s extreme. But it’s the custom,” Hamashita told CNN. “But I am sure the taste of the crab matches the price.”

In Japan, fishing season is celebrated with a kick-off auction, called the “festive quotation market,” that took place the day after the opening of crab-hunting season on Nov. 6. Traditionally, it is believed that the first winning bidder of the season will enjoy the most good fortune that year, which is why auctions start so high.

Hamashita admitted he thought he’d get away with closer to 3 million yen.

Still, “we came to this year’s first auction hoping that we would bid the world’s highest price again,” a representative for his company told Kyodo News. “I believe it is a good crab filled with meat.”

The previous Guinness World Record was set last year with a winning 2 million yen (about $18,000) bid.

Snow crab, or zuwaigani in Japanese, is harvested during winter months, near Tottori as well as the waters between Osaka and Hiroshima, where it is considered a delicacy.

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