Japan’s seafood companies assess damage

Japan’s leading seafood companies are still trying to account for some of its employees and assess the damage following Friday’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami. The death toll is expected to top 10,000, and many of those people reside in the fishing-rich communities of northeast Japan, the region hit hardest by the tsunami.

Nippon Suisan Kaisha (Nissui) said confirming the safety of its employees is its priority right now. But, due to communication difficulties, the company hasn’t been able to do so for its employees and their families at the Onagawa processing plant (137 employees) and Onagawa fish-feed and fish-oil plant (21 employees, two of which were in Tokyo and are safe).

The Onagawa facilities and are expected to be “seriously damaged” by the tsunami, said Nissui. Onagawa is located in Miyagi Prefecture north of Sendai.

The company has confirmed that the tsunami seriously damaged Hachikan’s Kuji plant.

Nichirei Corp., which said its thoughts are with those who have suffered from the earthquake and tsunami, released a list of its facilities damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. Many of its plants are without power and/or flooded, and the safety of its employees at its Kesennuma plant is still unknown. Once the overall damage is confirmed, Nichirei said it will announce how its business will be affected.

Minato-Tsukiji.com reported that Maruha Nichiro Holdings has facilities in Ishinomaki and Sendai in Miyagi Prefecture that were likely hit hard by the tsunami. The website also reported that Ishinomaki, a major mackerel and skipjack fishing port, was seriously damaged by the tsunami, and that there are still no seafood deliveries to Tokyo’s Tsukiji Market from four quake-stricken prefectures of Tohoku and Kanto: Miyagi, Iwate, Fukushima and Ibaraki.


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