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
April 6, 2011

Japanese fishermen whose catch has been affected by the release of radioactive particles from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant should receive compensation similar to an upcoming compensation program for agricultural products, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Wednesday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will estimate the amounts to be paid in consultation with the government. The statement came after the head

Read More
Published on
April 5, 2011

Harmful levels of radioactive iodine have been detected in a batch of small fish caught off the coast of Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture, adjacent to Fukushima Prefecture. The fish were sand lance landed in Kitaibaraki City on Tuesday.

As no threshold for radiation had been established for fish, the Japanese government used the limit for vegetables of 2,000 becquerels per kilogram in judging the fish as unsafe. The local fishing cooperative has

Read More
Published on
April 1, 2011

Both supply and demand have fallen steeply at Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale fish market since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. Last week’s average daily trading volume was down 23 percent from the typical mid-March level.

Species of seafood from the Sanriku and Tohoku areas of northwest Honshu Island are in short supply. Fishing boats, oyster and seaweed lines suspended from floats, and seafood processing factories were damaged. Japan’s

Read More
Published on
March 14, 2011

A day after Friday’s devastating earthquake in Japan, overturned boats, sheds and drum cans gradually became visible in the fishing port of Misawa as seawater drained away. At 9:00 a.m. on 13 March, the evacuation order was lifted, allowing fishermen to inspect the tsunami damage.

At the two-story office building of the fishery cooperative, they found broken windows and pillars leaning askew. Documents, desks and shelves formed rubble piles.

Read More
Published on
March 14, 2011

Officials at Tokyo Electric Power Co. on Sunday announced that the Kanto area, consisting of Tokyo and surrounding prefectures, will be subject to daily rolling blackouts of approximately three hours beginning on Monday. This is due to the need to take nuclear power plants offline as a result of Friday’s monumental earthquake and tsunami.

The blackout will affect all users, including hospitals and traffic lights. The company expects the

Read More
Published on
March 7, 2011

At mid-February’s Osaka International Seafood and Technology Expo, Tokyo-based tuna processor Pesca Rich promoted its products by playing up the company’s use of the pole-and-line fishing method and the economy of buying only the cuts needed.

The company set up a tuna processing facility in 2007 under subsidiary Tenpoint Manufacturing Corp. in General Santos, the Philippines. The city, in southern Mindanao Island, is known as the “Tuna

Read More
Published on
October 25, 2010

Maruha Nichiro Seafoods, Japan’s biggest producer of farmed bluefin tuna, will double its output by establishing a new production site in Wakayama Prefecture and expanding its existing farms.

The Tokyo-based company has set a goal of increasing its annual harvest from 2,000 metric tons in 2009 to 4,000 metric tons in 2014. Maruha Nichiro already has bluefin aquaculture pens at eight locations in Japan, primarily near Amami-Oshima, an island in

Read More
Published on
October 11, 2010

The wholesale import price of Chilean Atlantic salmon in Japan has jumped 20 percent since the beginning of 2010, to JPY 600 (USD 7.26) per kilogram, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun. While in previous years Chilean producers would visit Japan, this year Japanese buyers have had to travel to Chile to negotiate, indicating that it’s a seller’s market.

The Chilean salmon industry is still recovering from the 2007 outbreak of infectious

Read More
Published on
September 21, 2010

Mid- and low-grade Alaska pollock surimi blocks for the B season, which runs from early July through early October, are priced about 10 percent higher than in the A season that ended in March.

The Japanese newspaper Nikkei Keizai Shimbun reported a cost-and-freight price to Japanese ports of JPY 280 to 330 per kilogram (USD 3.29 to 3.80, EUR 2.50 to 2.94). That’s about JPY 30 higher for shore-processed middle and lower grades, with

Read More
Published on
September 7, 2010

The Japanese yen traded around 84.22 to the U.S. dollar on Friday, up slightly after dropping below 84 for a 15-year low last week. The prospect of a double-dip recession has led investors to buy the yen as a safe-haven currency.

Japanese seafood exports are expected to suffer as the strong yen makes product more expensive for overseas buyers. But for some products, short supply is the bigger problem.

Japan exports Pacific saury (sanma) and chum

Read More