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 18, 2017

A study published in the Pertanika journal Tropical Agricultural Science reports that compounds in “bekasam,” a fermented fish paste used as a condiment in Indonesia, inhibit an enzyme involved in the synthesis of cholesterol, similarly to statin drugs. 

Researchers from Sriwijaya University in Indonesia tested the effects of various peptides filtered out of bekasam on the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. HMG-CoA reductase catalyzes

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Published on
October 17, 2017

The parent company of Utsunomiya, Japan-based conveyor-belt sushi chain Genki Sushi Co., rice wholesaler Shinmei Co., will buy 32.7 percent of Suita-based Sushiro Global Holdings, parent of competing chain Akindo Sushiro, from London-based private equity firm Permira. A large portion of Sushiro Global Holdings was already sold by Permira in an initial public offering in April.

The consolidation will give the combined chains leverage to demand

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Published on
October 13, 2017

A study led by Matthew Savoca of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has found that when algae grows on tiny bits of plastic in the ocean, it gives off an odor that attracts fish, leading fish to seek it out. 

The study, “Odors from marine plastic debris induce food search behaviors in a forage fish,” was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Savoca additionally explained his findings in

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Published on
October 10, 2017

Short supply and high prices for octopus in Japan were confirmed by exhibitors at the 19th Japan International Seafood and Technology Expo at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center.

Among the 1,300 booths at the show in August, several featured octopus, many in original forms.

A boiled leg of the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) was displayed by the Akkeshi Fishery Cooperative, based in Hokkaido. The company’s wholesale

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Published on
October 9, 2017

World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Japan released a report in September examining the likelihood that illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) seafood products will enter the Japanese market, and presenting recommendations to keep these products out. 

The report, “IUU Fishing Risk in and around Japan,” recommended that Japan develop a catch certificate system similar to the European Union catch certificate or the U.S. Seafood

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Published on
September 29, 2017

Tokyo-based seafood company Maruha Nichiro conducted an internet survey from 6 to 8 March of 1,000 people aged 15 to 59 in the Kanto and Kansai regions who eat at “kaiten” (rotary) sushi shops at least once a month. The company asked what kinds of toppings the participants had recently eaten and calculated the percentage of subjects who had eaten each kind of topping. 

Salmon was the leader for the sixth consecutive year,

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Published on
September 22, 2017

About half of scientific papers related to genome editing are from the United States, followed by China and the European Union, while Japan trails at fourth, according to a Nikkei Shimbun report.

Only 3.3 percent of related patents filed worldwide from 1993 to 2014 were from Japan, compared with 54.5 percent for the U.S.A., 18.8 percent for China and 18.4 percent for the E.U., the report said. Less than 10 percent of Japanese patent applications

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Published on
September 12, 2017

A Japanese firm specializing in food company takeovers has purchased Hokkaido-based Yamani Noguchi Fisheries Co., Ltd.

The purchase, for JPY 85 million (USD 789,155, EUR 647,000) was announced on 5 September and will close on 2 October. 

Rumoi-based Yamani Noguchi Fisheries is a 47-year-old fish processing company dealing in salmon, while Yoshimura Food Holdings is a Tokyo-based company that purchases firms with limited growth opportunities

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Published on
September 11, 2017

A new scientific study of octopuses worldwide is revealing previously unknown levels of variability amongst geographically dispersed populations – a fact that may be masking the decline of the species in some areas, including Japan.

Professor Ian Gleadall studies octopuses at Tohoku University in Japan. He has contributed to a study that has collected evidence showing that several closely related species of octopus may have been lumped

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Published on
September 1, 2017

At the 19th Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo held 23 to 25 August, refrigeration equipment was in the spotlight, with sherbet ice front and center.

Liquid Snow by Gaia System, based in Kobe, promoted the small size of its ice particles as an advantage, with claims their product does less damage to fish and take up less space in a Styrofoam shipping box than regular ice. Chilled shipping seems to be the main intended application

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