The snow crab fishing season is underway in Japan. The first catch was auctioned off in the western prefecture of Tottori on Tuesday.
Four male snow crabs were sold under the prestigious "Itsukiboshi" brand at the auction at Tottori Port.
Only specimens with excellent shape and size are certified to carry the name.
One of them went for 2.8 million yen, or over 18 thousand dollars. That was significantly higher than the one million yen marked at the season's first auction last year.
It's also the second-highest price ever recorded in Tottori Prefecture, following 5 million yen at an auction in 2019.
The prevailing view is that the higher price signals a recovery in demand at restaurants and hotels.
Suzuki Yukari, a Tottori Prefecture official, said, "I'm very pleased that four "Itsukiboshi" were caught and they fetched high prices. We hope this winter delicacy can help attract more visitors to Tottori."
The snow crab fishing season will continue until March 20 next year.