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 5, 2022

Japan’s top tuna of the New Year fetched a relatively low price this year amid continuing concerns about COVID-19.

The best bluefin tuna sold at the first tuna auction of the year at Japan’s Toyosu (and previously, at the Tsukiji) wholesale market is usually the object of a bidding war. The high price is a plug for the prestige of the product, and earns bragging rights and name-recognition for the successful bidder.

The price saw a

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Published on
January 3, 2022

The November 2021 consumer price index for Japan showed price increases on both fresh and shelf-stable seafood compared to last year, outpacing general price hikes.

The Statistics Bureau of Japan released the November 2021 pricing information on 24 December, showing that prices rose 0.6 percent overall from the same period last year, and 0.3 percent from October 2021, on a seasonally adjusted basis. Most of that overall price hike was in energy,

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Published on
December 23, 2021

Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.-based nonprofit Ocean Outcomes (O2) has received new funding for its work on tuna sustainability in Northeast Asia, and has added a new member to its international team.

The new funding is a USD 1.9 million (EUR 1.68 million) grant from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation dispersed over three years, which follows on from a 2016 grant from the foundation for USD 571,388 (EUR 506,003). Other major sources of funding for

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Published on
December 21, 2021

Yumigahama Fisheries Co., a subsidiary of Tokyo -based Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui), has harvested the first chub mackerel from its land-based recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) facility in Sakaiminato City, Tottori Prefecture, Japan.

Chub mackerel (Scomber japonicas, called “masaba” in Japanese) is considered the best-tasting mackerel for sashimi, and as a result, is more expensive than striped or spotted mackerel.

The fish

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Published on
December 17, 2021

Japan's Yaizu Fisheries Cooperative held a briefing on 6 December to explain the theft of frozen bonito – skipjack tuna – to local fishermen.

Yaizu, located near the entrance of Tokyo Bay, is the country’s top bonito port, recording nearly half of the country’s total landings.

In February, five people were arrested and charged with stealing about 4.4 metric tons of frozen bonito, worth JPY 1.04 million (USD 9,000,

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Published on
December 13, 2021

Japan’s Fisheries Agency (JFA) announced in June its intention to boost farmed yellowtail production by over 70 percent – from under 140,000 metric tons (MT) currently, to 240,000 MT by the year 2030. However, a fingerling shortage will instead result in a short-term reduction.

Yellowtail fingerlings are typically sourced in the wild in Japan. Wild yellowtail fry (called mojako) are scooped into wellboats with handheld nets as they

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Published on
December 1, 2021

Japan’s seafood exports rose by 9.4 percent in October 2021 year-over-year, while its seafood imports were up by 26.7 percent, resulting in a small trade deficit.

Japan’s government announced on Wednesday, 1 December the country is now on track to reach its target of JPY 1 trillion (USD 8.9 billion, EUR 7.8 billion) in total food exports in 2021, according to The Japan Times, including JPY 8.4 billion (USD 74.4 million, EUR 65.8

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Published on
November 30, 2021

The 23rd Japan International Seafood and Technology Expo took place from 8 to 10 November, though Japan’s continuing quarantine requirements for entrants from many countries limited its international participation.

Foreign exhibitors were mostly limited to those that have a Japan representative office, or those whose embassy organized a national booth. The number of visitors was estimated at 15,000 – up from 9,426 in 2020, but far

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Published on
November 24, 2021

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), approved increases to the total allowable catch (TAC) of bluefin and bigeye at its annual meeting, which ended Tuesday, 23 November.

ICCAT is the regional fisheries management organization (RFMO) responsible for conservation of tunas and tuna-like species in the Atlantic Ocean and adjacent seas, including the Mediterranean. ICCAT fishery managers agreed to raise the

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Published on
November 24, 2021

Japan is aiming to increase exports of yellowtail – the country’s largest finfish export by value – but the efforts to increase exports are coinciding with tightening competition from new aquaculture ventures abroad.

In 2019, yellowtail made up 9 percent of Japan’s fish and fishery product exports - third by value behind scallops and pearls. Primarily, Japan's yellowtail exports consist of frozen fillets, with a

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