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
August 14, 2014

Conservation benefits from an individual fishing quota (IFQ) system implemented by a local fishery cooperative are giving momentum to a push for privatization of community fishing rights in Japan.

In the fall of 2011, local fishery cooperative members on Sado Island in Niigata Prefecture were looking at ways to restore declining sweet shrimp stocks. At the suggestion of Masayuki Komatsu, who was then a visiting senior research fellow at

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Published on
July 17, 2014

A 45 percent decline in supply is pushing prices of octopus in Japan 50 to 60 percent higher than the same time period last year.

In May, the volume of frozen uncooked octopus sold at public wholesale auctions in Tokyo was down 16 percent, while the price was up 30 percent from the same month in 2013. Now, the wholesale price of common octopus has climbed 50-60 percent to JPY 1,500 (USD 14.81, EUR 10.95) to JPY 1,600 (USD 15.80, EUR 11.68)

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Published on
July 9, 2014

The supply of Japanese sardines sold at Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale market in June was 60 percent lower than at this time last year, while the average wholesale price is running JPY 300 (USD 2.94, EUR 2.16) to JPY 400 (USD 3.92, EUR 2.88) per kilogram up, 30 percent to 50 percent.

Prices usually drop as landings increase at this time of year, but instead the price has risen on low supplies. Sardines peaked early this year, in March and April,

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Published on
July 1, 2014

There are 52 commercial fish species in waters surrounding Japan, managed as 84 stocks. Of these, the resource levels of 12 (14 percent) were high, those of 36 (43 percent) were medium, and those of 36 were low. The Pacific Ocean mackerel fishery and the Tsushima Current sardine fishery, both of which had low resource levels in 2012, recovered to the medium level in 2013.

Japan manages most species using a Total Allowable Effort (TAE) system,

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Published on
June 20, 2014

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) on 12 June added the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica) to its Red List of Threatened Species.

Japan’s Environment Ministry had already listed the eels as endangered in February of 2013, but the listing did not trigger any immediate protective actions. Earlier, in 2012, the capture of silver eels had been prohibited or restricted in three of Japan’s principal glass

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Published on
June 3, 2014

Japanese aquaculture production has been gradually declining, now accounting for 20 percent of total seafood production, the same as for coastal fishing vessels. Aquaculture production value exceeds 30 percent of combined fisheries and aquaculture value.

Worldwide, aquaculture production accounts for 49 percent of total fisheries and aquaculture value. By volume, carp accounted for 28 percent, algae and kelp for 14 percent and 9 percent

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Published on
May 23, 2014

Maruha Nichiro Corp. earlier this month released its annual report for the 2013 fiscal year ending 31 March 2014. The Tokyo-based company remained the world’s largest seafood business with sales of JPY 851 billion (USD 8.4 billion, EUR 6.1 billion), up 5.2 percent from the previous year. But while sales were up, profits were down. Consolidated net income was JPY 3.2 billion (USD 30.7 million, EUR 23 million), a year-on-year drop of 41.4

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Published on
May 7, 2014

Japan’s season for “meiji-maguro” (young Pacific bluefin tuna) opened earlier than usual, with good catches in the East China Sea. The fish is normally caught in the Sea of ​​Japan and the East China Sea to the east and south of Kyushu, respectively, from May to July, but good catches began to come in a few weeks early this year, starting in mid-April.

As a result, the wholesale price at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Fish Market declined by half

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Published on
April 23, 2014

A treaty aimed at blocking poached Russian crab from entering Japan took effect on 1 April, after years of Japanese foot dragging. In response to the new documentation requirements, processing of illegal crab is expected to shift to China and Vietnam.

Because of the economic importance of crab processing to the economy of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, the Japanese government has long turned a blind eye to the landing, processing and

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Published on
April 1, 2014
The Japanese government’s effort to define and manage Japanese cuisine as a national brand, and thus get more export sales out the sushi boom, has taken a few knocks, but is now in full-swing.

In 2006, Japan’s Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Toshikatsu Matsuoka, proposed an inspection and rating system to certify Japanese restaurants abroad as authentic, citing excessive confusion with Asian fusion. An organization to carry
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