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
July 19, 2017

The Ocean Conference, sponsored by the United Nations, and held 5 to 9 June in New York, U.S.A. broadly covered the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14: “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.” It touched on pollution and eutrophication, ocean acidification and overfishing, often in terms of overly broad goals and ill-defined future commitments. 

But in

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Published on
July 13, 2017

Japanese television news shows have recently featured several segments about the parasitic nematode Anisakis simplex, which can be transmitted to people when they eat raw fish that has not been previously frozen to below 20 degrees Celsius. 

The publicity about the parasite, which causes violent abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting in those who consume it, has depressed sashimi sales throughout Japan. The wholesale prices of a few species,

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Published on
July 12, 2017

On 11 July, the International Olympic Committee picked Los Angeles and Paris as the hosts of the 2024 and 2028 Olympics Games (the cities will sort out between themselves in which order they will host). 

While the worlds of sports and seafood rarely commingle, a notable exception is the case of the Olympics. The Olympics are about as high-profile as you can get, which is why sponsors pay billions of dollars to sponsor them. Many

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Published on
July 11, 2017

The European Union and Japan reached an “agreement in principle” on an Economic Partnership Agreement that will eliminate tariffs on seafood products over a period of five years.

The agreement, made on 6 July, is not the end of the negotiating process, and so should not be considered as final. Some issued will need further detail, while some others are still remain to be settled before the actual finalization of the

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Published on
June 30, 2017

Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike’s decision on the relocation of the Tsukiji Wholesale Market to a reclaimed brownfield site at Toyosu is an odd compromise that seems to mainly address political concerns.

She announced on 20 June that the relocation will proceed with an emphasis on its IT, cold-chain and distribution functions, but that the existing Tsukiji site would be redeveloped and privatized with a focus on the tuna auction so popular

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Published on
June 28, 2017

(photo courtesy of Aquaculture Farming Technology)

Two companies – one Japanese, the other American – are bringing revolutionary technologies into commercialization in large-scale shrimp aquaculture facilities. But questions remain as to whether the operations can be profitable.

A year ago, Tokyo-based Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui) announced a plan to build a new land-based shrimp farm on a 30,000 square-meter in Minamikyushu City,

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Published on
June 26, 2017

The Midsummer Day of the Ox, or “doyou no ushi no hi” in Japanese, is the traditional day to eat grilled eel. As the exact date is determined by a zodiac calendar system, there are some cases in which the day falls twice in a year. This year it falls on both 25 July and 6 August. 

Domestically produced eel is more abundant this year than last, due to declining feed costs, which in turn is due to better South American catches of

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Published on
June 23, 2017

The average wholesale price of frozen bigeye tuna in the first week of June at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market was about 25  percent higher than in the same period last year, at 1,224 yen (USD 10.96, EUR 9.82) per kilogram, the Nippon Keizai Shimbun reported. 

Tuna prices usually rise at year-end on New Year holiday consumption, but this price level already exceeds that of December 2016 by 0.8 percent.

Chronic overfishing of bigeye

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Published on
June 16, 2017

A Japanese biotech company is teaming with researchers at Tohoku University to develop a test for shrimp that can detect the virus responsible for early mortality syndrome (EMS) at an early stage.

Tohoku Bio-Array, also known as TBT Co. Ltd., and Tohoku University, both of Sendai City, will jointly develop a genetic bio-assay kit to allow early discovery of infectious diseases in cultured shrimp, the Nippon Keizai Shimbun reported on 5 June. The

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Published on
June 14, 2017

By the time Tokyo’s new auction site is up and running, it may be time to question if it is needed at all.

Even as the Tokyo government wrangles with the issue of moving the Tsukiji wholesale market to a new – and possibly polluted – location, innovative companies are forming more direct purchasing and marketing channels that bypass Tokyo’s central market. 

Despite a strong tradition of Japanese consumers buying fish

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