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
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
Published on
August 23, 2010

Earlier this month, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration approved amendments to the Pacific Fishery Management Council’s plan for the West Coast trawl groundfish fishery to implement an individual fishing quota (IFQ) program beginning in January 2011. But some in the industry are getting cold feet on the 23rd hour.

“There are still unaddressed loopholes,” said Doug Heater, sales manager of Bornstein Seafoods in Astoria,

Read More
Published on
August 17, 2010

Pacific saury, a popular species among Japanese consumers, is in short supply this year. According to the National Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, the catch as of 7 August totaled only 878 metric tons, versus 6,900 metric tons last year.

Saury, or “sanma,” is a representative autumn food in Japanese cuisine. It is commonly served salted and broiled whole, garnished with grated daikon radish. The flesh is high in DHA and EPA

Read More
Published on
August 9, 2010

Bornstein Seafoods would add more shrimp-peeling machines if a 20 percent European Union tariff on Pacific coldwater shrimp were eliminated, declared the Astoria, Ore., company. It currently operates four shrimp-peeling machines but has cooking capacity for 10.

“We will put in the investment once the duties get worked out,” Bornstein Sales Manager Doug Heater told SeafoodSource last week.

The company packs Oregon pink shrimp (Pandalus

Read More
Published on
July 19, 2010

The Hiranai Fisheries Cooperative Association hosted a scallop-tasting event on 10 July at the Hotel Granvia Osaka. It was attended by about 100 seafood dealers, supermarket buyers and dignitaries.

Waiting guests received informational brochures and a gift set of a new product: canned scallops in mayonnaise sauce. In opening speeches, coop leaders noted export successes in the United States, France and China.

Masaharu Uemura, Japan Fisheries

Read More
Published on
July 12, 2010

Japan’s Kinki University Fisheries Culture and Nursery Center — the first to successfully breed Pacific bluefin tuna in 2002 — is now harvesting the tuna and exporting some of it to the United States.

The tuna are born in the university’s labs, not taken from the oceans as with other tuna aquaculture operations. Low density stocking allows the fish to be raised without antibiotics.

The university branded the finished product “Kindai

Read More
Published on
May 24, 2010

The prospect of tighter harvest limits on western Australian spiny lobster led a Japanese importer to look for alternate suppliers. They ended up with not only a new supplier of lobster but of abalone, too.

Fedecoop of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, entered the Japanese live lobster and abalone market through a agreement with Tosenbo Co. of Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture. The cooperative had already been exporting canned and frozen abalone

Read More
Published on
April 19, 2010

Keisuke Furuike, president of Seaborn Japan Ltd., a lobster importer based in Otsu City, Shiga Prefecture, said lobster prices remain relatively low this year, and the Japanese yen remains fairly high, despite some weakening recently.

But low prices for Canadian lobster may not last all that long in Asia if Chinese demand increases.

"We're very anxious about China," said Furuike. "If Chinese demand gets bigger, the price will be higher. Spiny

Read More
Published on
March 29, 2010

At the recent FOODEX trade show in Japan, cold-smoked salmon was offered by two companies. While most lox sold in Japan is made from Atlantic salmon, often Norwegian, both of these companies were offering other species.

Marutoh Marine of Ishinomaki City, Miyage Prefecture, a subsidiary of Tokai Denpun, displayed domestically farmed coho, or silver, salmon lox, branded as "Beer Rich Salmon."

Yeast from a Kirin brewery is incorporated into the feed,

Read More