Major seafood trends revealed in Japan’s latest fisheries report – SeafoodSource

Japan’s Fisheries Agency has released its annual Fisheries White Paper , covering trends within fisheries and aquaculture, the supply plus demand patterns of fiscal-year 2021, and the impacts of the pandemic on the country’s seafood industry.

The white paper starts off with a review of Japan’s fifth Basic Fisheries Plan, a five-year guideline for systematically promoting fisheries-related measures based on Japan’s Fundamental Act upon Fisheries.

The particular new basic fisheries plan for FY 2022 was formulated in March 2022 , and is based on the major fisheries reforms in 2020 that changed management with regard to most species in Japan from a total allowable effort (TAE) system to a total allowable catch (TAC) system aiming regarding maximum-sustainable yield (MSY). In order in order to implement such a system, the number of stock surveys as well as the species covered by them will be greatly increased. Monitoring of poaching will also be enhanced by replacing fishery control vessels and negotiating with neighboring countries.

Japan is also moving toward an individual transferrable quota program for some varieties. For management of mixed fisheries, the particular agency will be working on resource management agreements with fishery cooperatives that include stock assessments and management targets.

For bluefin tuna, TAC is allocated among Japan’s prefectures. When the TAC intended for juvenile bluefin is exceeded, the fish must be released. When larger bluefin exceed the allocation, the particular location plus number must be reported to the agency. If large numbers are caught, the agency can order a period during which retaining large bluefin is furthermore prohibited.

For aquaculture, Japan’s strategy for the growth is focused on increasing exports of yellowtail, seabream, scallops, and cultured pearls. Additionally , the Fisheries Agency is trying to help deal with the particular economic decline of fishing villages simply by promoting seafood-related tourism, such as recreational fishing. Increased mechanization and introduction of information and communications technology is also being promoted.

Other trends affecting fishing are declines in fish stocks that may be related to climate change Japan’s shrinking population due to a low birthrate, changes inside consumption due to COVID-19, promotion of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), carbon neutrality, and the progress of digitalization.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the shift in public consumption designs in Japan from eating out to eating at home. Across The japanese, demand is usually increasing to get home-use frozen foods that will can end up being stocked, are usually easy to cook, and are convenient. The sales value of fresh seafood temporarily jumped in FY 2020 as people stayed house and cooked, but resumed a downward trend within FY 2021, falling 4 percent. Consumers also purchased more sea food online in response in order to the pandemic.

In terms of exports, Japan’s seafood exports decreased in 2020, but rebounded in 2021, again due to COVID-19-related fluctuations in demand in destination countries.

The pandemic also changed  labor patterns within Japan, with  more technical intern trainees staying in Japan because of to immigration restrictions, providing an important labor source for the country . As COVID-related entry restrictions have been relaxed in Asia, the company has made efforts to facilitate the particular entry of  more seafood-sector workers into the nation.

The outbreak also had an impact upon Japan’s self-sufficiency rate associated with edible sea food versus the amount it needs in order to import, which recovered slightly in FY 2020 to   57 percent. J apan’s self-sufficiency peaked at 113 % in 1964, and then trended lower until a low of 53 percent for three consecutive years from 2000 in order to 2002.  

Japan’s annual consumption of seafood per capita peaked in 40. 2 kilograms inside FY 2001, and was 23. four kilograms in FY 2020, 1 . 9 kilograms less than  FY 2019. Aannual per capita meat consumption surpassed that of sea food for the first time in FY 2011 and continues to rise. Since 2013, food prices in Japan have been rising, particularly pertaining to meat plus seafood. The particular decline inside usage of seafood has corresponded with increase in costs.

A “Survey on Awareness and Intentions on Food, Agriculture and Fisheries” conducted by Japan’s Ministry associated with Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, found those purchasing sea food did so for health and because it tastes good while all those who eat less seafood do so because their family members prefer meat, and because seafood is expensive and troublesome to cook. As a result, the particular agency will seek to promote seafood that is definitely convenient in order to prepare while emphasizing health effects of fish, including the “functional foods” status of EPA and DHA .

The white papers also reviewed the lingering impacts associated with the Great East Japan Earthquake. While the physical facilities of 70 percent of seafood processors had been restored to at least 80 percent associated with the capacity they had before the quake and tsunami of 2011, only 50 percent said that their product sales have recovered to the 8 % level. The particular main reasons were a lack of raw materials (declines in catches), a loss of sales channels during the particular period when their products were unavailable, and a shortage of workers.

The agency can be continuing in order to work on dispelling rumors and safety concerns about radiation, especially as the government recently decided to discharge treated cooling water through the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station accident into the particular sea.

The particular agency has been working to try plus get countries that still have bans on sea food from the region to lift them, citing Japan’s system meant for preventing foods exceeding security levels designed for radioactivity from entering the particular market. Some of those efforts have appeared in order to work, as the U. K. lifted restrictions on Japanese food products related to radionuclides upon 29 June, 2022. Asia has maintained that seafood caught within the regions near the Fukushima incident are now safe to eat in normal quantities.

Despite the efforts, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau all retain import measures on Japanese food.

Photo courtesy of Japan’s Fisheries Agency