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 27, 2011

Prime New Zealand and Tokyo-based importer Koyo are now offering a new product in the Japanese market: Retail packed smoked salmon slices, made with New Zealand king salmon processed in the city of General Santos, Philippines.

Prime Foods NZ Ltd. formed a joint venture (JV) called Big Glory Bay Salmon and Seafood Co. with Philippine tuna processor Alliance Tuna International. The JV takes its name from an inlet on New Zealand’s southern-most

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Published on
August 23, 2011

Seven overseas food buyers joined a buyer’s tour to Tokyo, Kobe and Okayama, sponsored by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), from 31 July to 10 August.

Participants visited the Agrifood Expo, a Tokyo trade show featuring a wide variety of Japanese specialty foods. A food processing plant, supermarket, beer and sake breweries, and dairy farm were also on the agenda.
A major part of the tour was business-matching meetings. Similar in

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Published on
August 14, 2011

Photos of tsunami damage to fishing ports and vessels in northeast Japan were displayed at last month’s Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo by several fishery associations. Combined with the absence of exhibitors from the area, they lent a poignant mood to the show.

One of the missing products was oysters from Miyage Prefecture. The oysters, which are grown suspended on lines attached to floats, were carried away or buried in

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Published on
August 6, 2011

Editor’s note: SeafoodSource Contributing Editor Chris Loew attended last month’s Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo. 

Shrimp was among the most prominent items displayed at the 13th Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo, held from July 27 to 29 at Tokyo Big Sight. Vietnamese, Thai, Malaysian, Indian and Chinese booths all featured prawns, with Indonesia the only major producer absent. Yet, each country took a

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Published on
July 22, 2011

Vietnam’s black tiger shrimp were struck by disease in April. Resulting short supply is now driving up prices in product’s largest market, Japan.

Shrimp died en-masse in coastal areas of the Mekong Delta. While white spot syndrome virus has been the major disease problem in the industry for years, this outbreak appears to have been caused by microsporidiosis. The disease’s hit to annual black tiger production is expected amount to 30

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Published on
July 7, 2011

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on 1 July issued an updated report on damages caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and actions taken by the ministry.

This updates a preliminary survey of damage to the aquaculture industry by the Fisheries Agency released on 18 May. That survey estimated damages of JPY 100 billion (USD 1.24 billion), while the latest estimate is JPY 129.3 billion (USD 1.6 billion) to aquaculture,

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Published on
June 30, 2011

Columbia, Md.-based FDA Imports helps Japanese food exporters that would like to have their products exempted from the import alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to radiation releases at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, damaged by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

Company founder Benjamin England said, “My advice to companies that would like to come off an import alert would be to provide

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Published on
June 23, 2011

The price of Japanese farmed bluefin tuna is rising in response to higher fishmeal prices.

Peru, the world’s largest supplier of fishmeal and fish oil, exported just 61,800 metric tons of fishmeal in March, compared to 115,600 metric tons in 2010, a decline of 46.5 percent, according to the Statistical Bulletin of the Ministry of Produce.

This sharply contrasts with the favorable supply outlook in January, when landings of anchovy for the

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Published on
June 9, 2011

Japan, which is usually self-sufficient in Pacific saury, is set to import a record amount of the fish this year.

The Sanriku-Johban coast of the Tohoku region, hit by the 11 March tsunami, was Japan’s main Pacific saury fishing area. The destroyed port of Kesennuma had the country’s highest landings.

There were about 46,000 metric tons of domestic saury in cold storage at the end of February, but the Fisheries Agency estimates that 20,000

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Published on
May 23, 2011

The wholesale price of salmon has increased steadily in Japan since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

At Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale market, frozen dressed Chilean silver (coho) salmon for salting is selling at JPY 670 to 700 per kilogram, up 15 percent from pre-quake levels. Salted salmon sells at JPY 780 to 830, or 20 percent up.

Chile is the main source of salmon in the Japanese market, and 78,000 metric tons were imported in from October

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