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 6, 2015

The eight Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA) control 30 percent of the world's tuna supply and 60 percent of that from the western and central Pacific. Negotiating as a bloc, the Federated States of Micronesia, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu now call the shots on tuna fishing access in the region, and they are increasingly dissatisfied with existing arrangements.

While the group has

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Published on
May 19, 2015

Alaska pollock roe and surimi sales helped Maruha Nichiro Corp. earn a slim profit margin for the 2014 fiscal year, despite slow canned salmon sales.

Executives at the Japanese conglomerate presented the company’s financial results last week with a breakdown of the company’s performance by business unit. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015, the company reported net income of JPY 7.2 billion (USD 59.9 million; EUR 53 million) on sales

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Published on
May 15, 2015

Japan’s seafood imports increased 0.3 percent year-over-year through March 2015, to about 2.11 million metric tons (MT), according to trade data released by Japanese Customs. U.S. products are gaining in market share, 13.7 percent of overall imports, a 1.4 percent increase. Compared with the previous year, seafood imports from the United States increased by 280,000 MT, a 12 percent jump, and were 15 percent higher than four years ago.

The

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Published on
March 20, 2015

Following up on a meeting at the Seafood and Technology Expo Osaka, SeafoodSource.com Contributing Editor Chris Loew interviewed Koichi Nakatani, managing director of Indo Marine Products Co. Ltd. at the company’s Osaka office.

Indo Marine Products Co., Ltd. (Indo Suisan in Japanese) is an outgrowth of existing business between VV Mineral, a mining company based in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and its Japanese importer,

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Published on
March 10, 2015

Seafood innovation was evident at Asia’s largest food and beverage show, FOODEX Japan 2015, held 3 to 6 March. The show, which featured 2,977 exhibitors from 79 countries, was divided into a Japanese section, which included a Marine Product Corner, and country pavilions grouped roughly into Europe, Asia and everything else.

In the Japanese section, Kunihiro Inc., a Hiroshima-based oyster farming and processing company, has introduced a

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Published on
February 27, 2015

The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI) tried to teach visitors the difference between the bairdi and opilio species of snow crab at the recent Seafood and Technology Expo Osaka. Japan Trade Manager Akiko Yakata, representing ASMI at the show, said that bairdi have firmer flesh and more umami than opilio. Alaskan processors would like Japanese consumers to differentiate the two, as the rarer bairdi sells at a higher price.

While the

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Published on
February 25, 2015

An importer of Indian shrimp, Indo Marine Products Co., an importer of Indian shrimp based in Osaka, featured vannamei and flower shrimp at the recent Seafood and Technology Expo Osaka. Flower shrimp (Penaeus semisulcatus) is also known by the names “green tiger shrimp,” “hana-ebi,” “kuma-ebi,” and “ashiaka-ebi.” It has a clean refreshing taste and springy mouthfeel compared with vannamei.

It’s a signal of change in India’s

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Published on
January 30, 2015

While Russia’s ban on seafood imports from the United States, Canada, the EU and Norway has changed salmon trade flows, it has not changed much in Japan. The popularity of ocean-farmed trout and coho salmon means that Chile has a firm position here. The main limiting factor is the weak yen.  

Current wholesale pricing at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market for whole frozen imported cohos at the end of January averaged JPY 815 (USD 6.93; EUR 6.12)

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Published on
January 23, 2015

Hiroshima typically accounts for over half of Japan’s total of approximately 200,000 metric tons of fresh oyster meats, but a sharp reduction in the amount of spatted clutch collected there last summer means there won’t be many Hiroshima oysters on the market next year.

Even this year, some oyster farmers are holding back product in anticipation of next year’s shortage, cutting back supplies now.

A single adult oyster can release from

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Published on
January 20, 2015

Retort pouches have gained great popularity among consumers in Japan, especially for curries and sauces. Adoption has been faster than in the United States, where the packing method was developed in the 1960s by the US Army’s Natick Laboratories, Reynolds Metals Company and Continental Flexible Packaging for military Meals Ready to Eat.

Made of laminated plastic and aluminum, retort pouches are able to withstand the thermal processing used

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