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
February 3, 2023

The Tokyo-based National Pacific Saury Stick Net Fishery Cooperative announced on 10 January that only 17,910 metric tons (MT) of saury were landed by Japanese vessels in 2022, marking the fourth consecutive year of record lows since statistics started being kept in 1961.

The amount is a two-percent decline from the 18,291 MT caught in 2021, which was down 38 percent from the 29,566 MT caught in 2020, which in turn was down 27 percent from the

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Published on
February 3, 2023

Thousands of Japanese food processors, including Shizuoka-based tuna canner Hagoromo Foods Co., plan to raise prices in 2023.  

In response to soaring prices of bonito and tuna, Hagoromo Foods already raised the prices of its products containing bonito as a main ingredient in July 2022, and its  products with tuna as a main ingredient in September 2022. 

Since then, however, the yen has depreciated significantly, and prices

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Published on
January 25, 2023

Japanese spicy cod roe maker Yamaya Communications recently announced that it will be onshoring some cod-roe processing work previously done in Vietnam. 

In an interview with the Japanese public television channel NHK, the Fukuoka-based company’s president, Masahide Yamamoto, said that a major reason for returning the work to Japan was costs, as wages have risen in Vietnam, with the weaker Japanese yen compounding the company's

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Published on
January 17, 2023

Japan, a major producer and exporter of mackerel, is also a major importer and it represents Norway’s most important international market for the species.

Despite catching hundreds of thousands of tons of mackerel, demand from Japanese consumers results in a high volume of imports of the species – with the vast majority of imports coming from Norway. This is because the Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus) imported from Norway is

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Published on
January 13, 2023

The top bluefin tuna sold during the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Central Wholesale Market in Toyosu reached JPY 36,040,000 (USD 274,120, EUR 256,785), carrying on a tradition started at the market’s former location in Tsukiji and signaling some recovery from the pandemic.

The high price has nothing to do with the actual value of tuna, nor with its relative scarcity. As in years past, it’s a PR stunt and a reasonably

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Published on
January 12, 2023

Japan and Russia have agreed to reduce the total allowable catch in each other’s fishing areas by 33 percent after the 39th meeting of the Japan-Russia Fisheries Committee. 

Japan and Russia have a longstanding agreement to allow reciprocal fishing access to areas of each other’s exclusive economic zones (EEZs). The Japan-Russia Fisheries Committee was established based on the Soviet-Japanese Agreement on Offshore Fisheries,

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Published on
January 6, 2023

From 2 to 15 December, 2022, Kura Sushi featured farmed “AI Sumagatsuo” at it restaurants in Japan for the first time.

The “AI Sumagatsuo” – also known as eastern little tuna or mackerel tuna in English – is the third fish species being farmed at the sushi chain’s Kura Osakana Farm, joining its farming of red sea bream and yellowtail. Kura Sushi said its first batch of farmed mackerel tuna totaled 6

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Published on
December 19, 2022

The latest data from Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) on the export value of agricultural, forestry, fishery, and food products is indicating the country is on pace to have a record year.

The country's cumulative total value of exports for 2022 through October reached JPY 1.12 trillion (USD 8.2 billion, EUR 7.7 billion), thus far ahead of 2021, which was a record year for exports. Last year, it took until the

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Published on
December 15, 2022

Sea urchin aquaculture company Urchinomics has secured the world's first voluntary blue carbon credit for kelp-bed restoration.

Urchinomics is based in IJmuiden, the Netherlands. Its Tokyo-based Japanese subsidiary, Uninomics K.K., farms sea urchins on a commercial scale in Kunisaki, Oita Prefecture, and Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture. By having divers remove sea urchins from “urchin barrens” – kelp beds overgrazed by the urchins

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Published on
December 14, 2022

Japan’s major sushi chains raised its prices this fall and costs have outstripped the amount of the rise, leaving chains to eat the difference.

Akindo Sushiro Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Kumamoto City-based Food & Life Companies, implemented its price hike on 1 October. Its competitor, Kura Sushi, based in Sakai City, Osaka Prefecture, followed suit. While these price increases were in the range of 5 to 10 percent, material

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