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 21, 2009

Bluefin tuna has been the subject of much debate this year. The film "End of the Line," released in June, brought the species' plight to the public's attention, and Greenpeace has ramped up its campaign to prevent bluefin tuna overfishing. But, according to Rich Ruais, executive director of the American Bluefin Tuna Association and proprietor of TunaNews.org, the environmental camp doesn't always get its facts straight when it comes to bluefin

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Published on
July 6, 2009

In Japan, independent sushi bars with artisan sushi chefs are struggling to compete with kaiten, or conveyor belt, sushi chains, which feature low prices, quick self-service, ample seating and parking and a casual, kid-friendly atmosphere.

Same-store sales in May at leading kaiten sushi chains Kappa Zushi and Akindo Sushiro were up 9.9 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, compared to the same month last year, even as dinner restaurants, pubs

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Published on
June 25, 2009

The Japan International Seafood and Technology Expo will be held 22 to 24 July at Tokyo Big Sight, the same week as the Japanese national holiday Marine Day (20 July).

Organizers expect about 30,000 people to visit the 550 exhibitors, making it Asia’s most visited seafood show. The China Fisheries and Seafood Expo, held last November in Qingdao, which also claims to be Asia’s largest seafood show, had 735 exhibitors, but only 15,000

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Published on
June 1, 2009

Demand for Japanese seafood is being bolstered by bargains, which appeal to price-conscious housewives. In the first quarter of this year, one in four meals at home included fish, rising despite the long-term shift toward red meat in Japan.

Japan’s exports of Pacific saury, mackerel and pink salmon have been hit hard by weak Asian demand since the global economy took a nosedive, leaving much domestic fish unsold.

A rising yen since the

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Published on
May 22, 2009

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has submitted its annual White Paper on Fisheries to the legislature for approval.

The report’s topics include bolstering consumer confidence in seafood, harvesting tuna and whales sustainably, advancing research in eel cultivation technology, and managing fluctuating fuel prices.

But perhaps the most pressing topic included in the White Paper on Fisheries is Japan’s declining

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Published on
May 15, 2009

Sojitz is among the Japanese companies that is reprocessing more seafood in Vietnam. Its JALUX subsidiary imports farmed rainbow trout from Norway and reprocesses the fish in Vietnam to reduce labor costs.

Ras Super Fries Ltd., a Japanese foodservice supplier of gourmet foods, displayed two JALUX rainbow trout products at Japan's FOODEX 2009.

For Salmon-Trout Tataki, the surfaces of a two-piece side of trout-salmon, or rainbow trout, are seared,

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Published on
April 21, 2009

Since Kanedai Co. Ltd. opened a processing plant in Yantai, in China's Shandong province, in August 2000, labor costs have nearly doubled, though they are still one-tenth of those in Japan, and utility costs are on the rise. Yet, the company thinks China is still the best place to process its Japanese snow crab, deep-sea red crab (Chaceon quinquedens) and sweet shrimp.
 
Choosing to go it alone rather than work with a Chinese partner, Kanedai

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Published on
March 23, 2009

Expect a large increase in Oregon's groundfish catch due to a switch from two-month trip limits to six-month individual fishing quotas (IFQs) in 2011, Brad Pettinger, director of the Oregon Trawl Commission, said at the FOODEX 2009 trade show near Tokyo earlier this month.
 
Pettinger expects the groundfish bycatch to drop under the IQF fishery management system. He also said West Coast groundfish stocks are recovering - overfished species have

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Published on
March 13, 2009

Vietnam will soon get tariff-free access to the Japanese shrimp market under the Vietnam-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement signed on 25 December, 2008.
 
For shrimp and lobster, the current 10 to 15 percent tariff rates will be lifted upon domestic ratification of the agreement by the two countries. Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura confirmed in January that Japan would soon ratify and implement the agreement.
 
Japan is Vietnam's No. 1



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Published on
March 9, 2009

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) is sponsoring 10 Japanese companies to exhibit at the International Boston Seafood Show, which runs from Sunday to Tuesday. MAFF funded 10 companies to attend the 2008 show, four of which are returning this year. Last year was the first time Japan had a pavilion at the annual event.
 
Each exhibiting company has selected seafood items from their product line-up that they hope

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