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
January 26, 2018

The issue of plastic contamination in the world’s marine environment has been gaining more public attention in recent years. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has said the volume of plastic in the ocean will exceed that of fish by 2050, and a United Nations Environment Program reported that even plastics marked as biodegradable do not degrade rapidly in the ocean. Additionally, there are recent scientific reports that marine plastic

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Published on
January 23, 2018

The glass eel harvest in Japan has been poor and may fall below the record low of 5.2 metric tons, according to the Fisheries Agency.

The glass eel harvest runs from December to April in Japan, with the peak of the season in mid-January.  In 1963, the domestic catch of glass eels was as high as 232 metric tons.

The shortage of glass eels, or elvers, is expected to lead to high prices on Japan’s traditional day to eat broiled eel, the

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Published on
January 9, 2018

Winter is the season for “kanburi,” fat wild yellowtail migrating south from the rich feeding grounds of the northern Sea of Japan. 

Steaks of the oily winter yellowtail are sold for grilling with teriyaki sauce. Trimmings, such as belly and tail-end pieces can be put into a “buri oden,” a one-pot winter dish consisting of boiled eggs, daikon, konjac, and processed fishcakes stewed in a light, soy-flavored dashi

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Published on
January 8, 2018

As usual on 4 January, the first tuna auction of the year was held this year at Japan’s Tsukiji Fish Market. And as usual, a shockingly high price, JPY 36.45 million (USD 323,311, EUR 267,798), was paid for the best and biggest Pacific bluefin tuna. 

This is a publicity stunt, designed to cement the fish’s place as a coveted luxury food. It also gets the high bidder in the national and international press. So the price paid is

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Published on
January 4, 2018

Winter temperatures are luring hungry diners to warm broths and more substantial - and potentially risky - seafood fare.

While crab hotpot is a popular New Year holiday favorite in Japan, “techiri-nabe,” or blowfish hotpot, runs a close second.

“Fugu,” in Japanese, goes by various names in English, including blowfish, pufferfish, globefish and swellfish. In Japan, it is famous not only for its delicate taste, but also for

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Published on
December 22, 2017

A popular Japanese television program, TV Asahi’s Morning Show, featured “third-wave kamaboko” on 13 December. 

“Kamaboko” is Japanese for fishcake. The product is “Sushikama” – fishcake formed and colored to resemble sushi items. The maker, Kawachiya, based in Uojimachi, Toyama Prefecture, was the first to develop the product. 

Local fishcake makers in Japan used to be differentiated by

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Published on
December 21, 2017

Ishihara Marine Products Co. Ltd. of Yaizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan has entered its pole-and-line skipjack and albacore tuna fisheries for assessment against the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) standards.

The assessment, which will cover stock health, impact on the marine environment and management of the fishery, will be carried out by an independent assessment body, ME Certification Ltd., Michiko Makino, MSC Japan Communications

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Published on
December 11, 2017

Skipjack tuna landings in Japan from September through November totaled 1,207 metric tons, 40 percent lower than in 2016, according to a Nippon Keizai Shimbun report. It was also 30 percent less than the average of the past five years. However, it is similar to the amount of 2015, and only a little below that of 2014.

The average wholesale price at Tokyo’s Tsukiji market in October and November was around JPY 1,000 (USD 8.81, EUR 7.50) per

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Published on
December 4, 2017

Impact investing—investing for social and environmental benefit along with profit—is increasingly playing a leading role in addressing problems plaguing the marine environment.

The movement seeks to fund efforts by improving fisheries management, gathering reliable data, controlling overfishing, and reducing bycatch and waste, all while protecting artisanal fishers from losing their livelihoods. 

Projects aimed at these goals

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Published on
December 1, 2017

An unexpectedly large number of bluefin tuna were caught off Hokkaido in salmon set nets starting from October. As a result, Japan will likely exceed its international agreed catch quota on juveniles, defined as under 30 kilograms.

The bycatch in Hokkaido set nets has reached 600 metric tons (MT), exceeding the bycatch limit of 580 MT for the whole nation for set nets through next June. The total for all fishing methods (including hook and line)

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