Japan’s Seafood Production Falls Below 4 Million Tons for 2nd Year

by Ella

Japan’s seafood production has hit another record low, falling below 4 million tons for the second consecutive year. The country’s fisheries ministry released preliminary figures showing a significant decline in marine product output, continuing a worrying trend for the industry.

Decline in Seafood Production

In 2023, Japan’s total marine product output, including farmed seafood, decreased by 4.9 percent, amounting to approximately 3.72 million tons. This drop represents a reduction of about 190 thousand tons compared to the previous year. These figures are expected to mark the lowest recorded output, even though data for Ishikawa Prefecture is still pending due to delays caused by the Noto Peninsula earthquake.


Fishery Catches

Fishery catches fell by 4.3 percent, totaling around 2.82 million tons. This decline was marked by significant changes in the catches of various fish species:


Sardines: The sardine catch increased by 6.1 percent to 680,900 tons.


Mackerel: The mackerel haul decreased by 18.3 percent to 261,100 tons.


Bonito: Bonito catches were down by 20 percent to 152,600 tons.

Walleye Pollack: Catches fell by 23.4 percent to 122,900 tons.

Japanese Common Squid: The squid catch dropped by 36.2 percent to 19,600 tons.

Saury: Although the saury catch rose by about 7,000 tons to 25,800 tons, it remains only about four percent of its peak in 1958.

Marine Aquaculture

The production from marine aquaculture also saw a decrease, falling by 6.9 percent to 849,000 tons. Specific declines included:

Oysters: Production dropped by 11.7 percent to 146,300 tons.

Scallops: Production fell by 12.1 percent to 151,300 tons.

Challenges and Future Efforts

Japan’s Fisheries Agency is facing significant challenges due to changing marine environments influenced by global warming and other factors. The agency has committed to improving the state of the industry amidst these changes, aiming to bolster seafood production and ensure the sustainability of marine resources.

The continued decline in seafood production highlights the need for robust strategies to combat the impacts of environmental changes and maintain the viability of Japan’s fishing industry.



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