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 6, 2011

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on 1 July issued an updated report on damages caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and actions taken by the ministry.

This updates a preliminary survey of damage to the aquaculture industry by the Fisheries Agency released on 18 May. That survey estimated damages of JPY 100 billion (USD 1.24 billion), while the latest estimate is JPY 129.3 billion (USD 1.6 billion) to aquaculture,

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Published on
June 29, 2011

Columbia, Md.-based FDA Imports helps Japanese food exporters that would like to have their products exempted from the import alert issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in response to radiation releases at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, damaged by the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

Company founder Benjamin England said, “My advice to companies that would like to come off an import alert would be to provide

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Published on
June 22, 2011

The price of Japanese farmed bluefin tuna is rising in response to higher fishmeal prices.

Peru, the world’s largest supplier of fishmeal and fish oil, exported just 61,800 metric tons of fishmeal in March, compared to 115,600 metric tons in 2010, a decline of 46.5 percent, according to the Statistical Bulletin of the Ministry of Produce.

This sharply contrasts with the favorable supply outlook in January, when landings of anchovy for the

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Published on
June 8, 2011

Japan, which is usually self-sufficient in Pacific saury, is set to import a record amount of the fish this year.

The Sanriku-Johban coast of the Tohoku region, hit by the 11 March tsunami, was Japan’s main Pacific saury fishing area. The destroyed port of Kesennuma had the country’s highest landings.

There were about 46,000 metric tons of domestic saury in cold storage at the end of February, but the Fisheries Agency estimates that 20,000

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Published on
May 22, 2011

The wholesale price of salmon has increased steadily in Japan since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami.

At Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale market, frozen dressed Chilean silver (coho) salmon for salting is selling at JPY 670 to 700 per kilogram, up 15 percent from pre-quake levels. Salted salmon sells at JPY 780 to 830, or 20 percent up.

Chile is the main source of salmon in the Japanese market, and 78,000 metric tons were imported in from October

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Published on
May 11, 2011

Miyagi Prefecture supplied 70 percent of Japan’s seed oysters before suffering extensive damage in the mid-March tsunami. Now other Japanese prefectures are now scrambling to secure juvenile oysters, as summer is the season for suspending them from floats in the ocean.

In Japanese mariculture, oysters are attached to lines suspended from floating bamboo or wooden rafts. The rafts allow three-dimensional use of ocean space for dense

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Published on
May 1, 2011

While about 35 countries have limited imports of Japanese seafood due to radiation fears, the approaches taken have varied from outright bans to increased monitoring. 

India adopted a three-month ban on all imports of Japanese foods, but may amend this when more reliable data is available. Russia suspended seafood imports from 242 Japanese plants located in affected areas.

The US Food and Drug Administration ruled that Japanese seafood may be

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Published on
April 5, 2011

Japanese fishermen whose catch has been affected by the release of radioactive particles from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant should receive compensation similar to an upcoming compensation program for agricultural products, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano said on Wednesday.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) will estimate the amounts to be paid in consultation with the government. The statement came after the head

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Published on
April 4, 2011

Harmful levels of radioactive iodine have been detected in a batch of small fish caught off the coast of Japan’s Ibaraki Prefecture, adjacent to Fukushima Prefecture. The fish were sand lance landed in Kitaibaraki City on Tuesday.

As no threshold for radiation had been established for fish, the Japanese government used the limit for vegetables of 2,000 becquerels per kilogram in judging the fish as unsafe. The local fishing cooperative has

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Published on
March 31, 2011

Both supply and demand have fallen steeply at Tokyo’s Tsukiji wholesale fish market since the 11 March earthquake and tsunami. Last week’s average daily trading volume was down 23 percent from the typical mid-March level.

Species of seafood from the Sanriku and Tohoku areas of northwest Honshu Island are in short supply. Fishing boats, oyster and seaweed lines suspended from floats, and seafood processing factories were damaged. Japan’s

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