Chris Loew

Chris Loew

Contributing Editor reporting from Osaka, Japan

Chris Loew reports from Osaka, Japan as a contributing editor for SeafoodSource.com. In addition to writing for SeafoodSource.com, he covers Japan for stock-investing newsletter Global Investing. He co-authored a college language text, “Healthcare English:  Read, Write and Speak It.” When not writing, he proofreads Japanese-to-English translations. Chris is a 1990 graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. After graduation, he worked for two years in the purchasing department of a Japanese meat importer, and for five years as export director for two Seattle food companies, selling to customers in the Far East, and arranging shipping and export documentation for mixed containers of frozen foods.

Published on
October 10, 2019

In recent years, concern has been growing about bycatch of juvenile bigeye tuna by purse-seiners setting nets on drifting fish aggregation devices (dFADs). The main target of the purse-seiners is the more plentiful skipjack tuna, but as bigeye inhabit the same tropical seas, they are often taken as well.

The devices typically consist of a raft or buoy trailing a length of disused netting tied into the shape of a string of sausages, used to

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Published on
October 2, 2019

Hatchery salmon have cushy lives compared with their wild brethren. They get their food delivered, but more importantly, they don’t have to successfully spawn, and the conditions for their egg and juvenile stages are optimized. 

Wild salmon, meanwhile, have to deal with various stresses and selection pressures that weed out the weak and encourage traits that are well-adapted to the local conditions of their river. Weak or

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Published on
October 2, 2019

Ai Murakami, team leader of the corporate communications group for Osaka-based Fuji Oil Holdings Inc. said in an interview with SeafoodSource that the company’s new imitation sea urchin roe product is not vegan, as was widely misreported in the media.

Murakami confirmed the imitation uni actually contains 5 percent real uni. The confusion is likely due to the product being introduced in March at an event where many entirely plant-based

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Published on
September 9, 2019

The last couple of years have been terrible for Japanese squid processors and fishermen. 

The national catch of Pacific flying squid fell to around 53,000 metric tons (MT) in 2017, and the 2018 haul hit a low of 41,700 MT. For comparison, 670,000 MT were landed in 2006, and about 200,000 MT were caught in 2011.

This year is shaping up to be slightly better. Landings from January to August in major ports nationwide increased 15 percent

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Published on
September 6, 2019

At the 18th Conference of the Parties in Geneva, the 183 parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) added 18 species of sharks and rays to the threatened list, “Appendix II.”

As a result of the new listings, international trade in shortfin mako shark, longfin mako shark, 10 species of wedgefish, and six species of giant guitarfish will be banned unless they are proven to be

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Published on
September 6, 2019

A new study has discovered that a model optimizing Japanese catch levels for profitability could see a 3.5-fold increase in annual profits and a 30 percent increase in biomass. 

The new study – “Alternative outcomes under different fisheries management policies: A bioeconomic analysis of Japanese fisheries” –will appear in the journal Marine Policy (October 2019, Article 103646) and compares modeled outcomes under

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Published on
September 4, 2019

At the Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo – Asia’s largest with 35,000 visitors – held at Tokyo Big Sight on 21 to 23 August, one of the most noticeable changes this year was the many booths with prominent signage indicating Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) products. 

The numerous logos reflect the rapid growth in the number of certifications awarded in recent years.

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Published on
August 29, 2019

From 2-6 September, the Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission (WCPFC)’s Northern Committee will meet in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A., with proposals from Japan and South Korea for increased Pacific bluefin catch limits on the agenda.

Pacific bluefin is in the first few years of a recovery plan, which aims to restore the stock to 20 percent of its pre-fishing levels by 2034. Japan, citing a recovery in the stock of juvenile fish in

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Published on
August 12, 2019

Companies making seafood alternatives continue to attract investment from venture capital firms convinced the future of food begins in the science lab.

Until recently, start-up companies looking to enter the market for meat substitutes have mainly focused on imitating beef, pork, and chicken. However, a perceived gap in the market for vegetarian alternatives to seafood has led to a boom in startups looking to gain market share. 

Gathered

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Published on
July 30, 2019

Japan’s Midsummer Day of the Ox, when it is traditional to eat eel to maintain stamina in the humid summer, fell on Saturday, 27 July, this year. Sales related to the day typically account for 30 to 40 percent of the country’s annual consumption of eel. 

Japan’s catch of glass eels continues to decline, mostly due to the side-effects of dams and other river modifications, but closed-cycle breeding is advancing in the

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