Tag Archives: Japan

Rare ‘football fish’ washes up near Cannon Beach

A deep-sea angler fish, called a Pacific football fish (Himantoliphus sagamius) has been found by local beachcombers just south of Cannon Beach. Living in complete darkness, at 2,000 to 3,300 feet, these fish are rarely seen. In fact, only 31 specimens have been recorded around the world. While a handful of football fish have been recorded in New Zealand, Japan, Russia, Hawaii, Ecuador, Chile and California, this is the first one reported on the Oregon Coast to the knowledge of personnel at Seaside Aquarium, who announced the find. Photos, more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 10:38

Japan Fisheries Agency proposes allowing commercial catching of fin whales

Japan’s Fisheries Agency on Thursday proposed a plan to allow catching fin whales in addition to three smaller whale species currently permitted under the country’s commercial whaling around its coasts. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi, whose electoral district is traditionally known for whaling, said his government supports sustainable use of whales as part of Japan’s traditional food culture and plans to promote the industry. “Whales are important food resources and we believe they should be sustainably utilized just like any other marine resources, based on scientific evidence,” Hayashi told reporters. “It is also important to inherit Japan’s traditional food culture.” more, >>CLICK TO READ<< 11:11

Rescue Operation Saves 24 on Sinking Ship in Japan, One Fatality Confirmed

During an intense rescue mission amid turbulent seas off the southwest coast of Tokyo, a Japanese coast guard helicopter successfully retrieved 24 fishermen from a perilous situation where they were holding onto a nearly capsized ship. The incident, which occurred on Monday morning near an island chain, unfortunately also involved a fatality when one crew member was recovered deceased after being cast into the sea. The vessel, identified as Fukuei Maru No. 8, experienced engine trouble on Sunday evening in the Pacific Ocean while on route from Yaizu Port in central Japan to South America for a tuna-fishing expedition. About five hours after departure, the ship began to drift due to the stormy conditions, prompting the captain to send out a distress call reporting that the ship had struck rocks, as stated by the coast guard. Video, more, >>click to read<< 06:57

Massive bluefin tuna weighing more than 500 pounds reels in almost $800,000 at Tokyo auction

The most expensive piece of seafood at Tokyo’s largest fish market sold for a ton-a money at auction on the opening day of business. The mammoth bluefin tuna weighing nearly 525 pounds was purchased by seafood wholesaler Yamayuki and a sushi chain for nearly $800,000. Yamayuki and sushi chain Onodera group have purchased the market’s priciest fish of the new season for four years running. “If we were going to do it, we wanted to win,” Yamayuki president Yukitaka Yamaguchi told a throng of reporters that had assembled upon the auction’s conclusion. Video, photos, >>click to read<< 09:08

Port in Tottori striving to save commercial coastal fishing

Nakano Port Fishing Village Market in Sakaiminato

One of Japan’s prominent fishing ports and a frequent stop for foreign luxury cruise liners, the city of Sakaiminato on the Sea of Japan coast bolsters the local economy in a remote western region of the country. Also thriving as a trading base after Japan opened up the country in the mid-19th century thanks to its relative proximity to the Korean Peninsula, the Tottori Prefecture city with a population of 33,000 is dubbed a “fishing town” for being a good natural port endowed by rich fishing banks in adjacent waters. This has historically provided the solid foundation for the prosperity of the offshore fishing operation based in Sakaiminato, where efforts are now being made to keep aloft its coastal fishing — the other main style of commercial fishing that has helped feed the city. more, >>click to read<<  13:23

Single Snow Crab Gets Auctioned for Record 10 Million Yen in Japan

Snow crab season in Japan kicked off with a record auction this week, after a single 1.2-kilogram snow crab sold for an incredible 10 million yen (about $66,000 USD) at the Hamasaka fishing port in the coastal town of Shinonsen. The crab was a highly sought-after “matsuba-gani,” which refers to male snow crabs that are found in the Sanin region along the south-western coast of Japan’s main island Honshu. The lucky buyer was restaurant owner Ryosuke Uemura, 47, proprietor of the Ryouriya Uemura restaurant in the Chuo Ward of Kobe, who placed the winning bid on Nov 6., the first day of snow crab season.”I wanted to get one on day one, no matter what. >>click to read<< 07:45

US military will buy seafood from Japan to offset Chinese ban

The U.S. has reportedly begun buying Japanese seafood for its military stationed there to offset the impact of China’s ban on seafood, according to a new report from Reuters.  U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel said there will be a long-term contract between the U.S. armed forces and the fisheries and co-ops in Japan. The seafood will be given to soldiers in messes and vessels and sold in shops and restaurants on military bases, Emanuel reportedly said, adding that the types of seafood will expand over time. The U.S. military had not purchased local seafood in Japan prior to the deal, according to Emanuel. >>click to read<< 08:55

DFO says thousands of illegal shark fins found during Pacific patrol

Canadian fisheries officers discovered more than 3,000 shark fins while conducting a maritime surveillance and enforcement mission in the North Pacific Ocean, according to Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The agency says the fins were illegally possessed or stored on multiple vessels that were inspected during a two-month patrol of the high seas between British Columbia and Japan. Some of the fins were from threatened species, including the oceanic whitetip shark, the DFO said in news release Thursday. The annual enforcement mission, known as Operation North Pacific Guard, included fishery and coast guard officers from the United States and Japan, as well as a Canadian patrol aircraft temporarily based out of Japan. >>click to read << 16:21

Fukushima sake brewer warms shattered Japanese fishing community

Daisuke Suzuki is helping by doing what he does best as life tentatively returns to normal for the devastated fishing communities of Japan’s Fukushima region: making sake. The “toji” sake master and his family were lucky to escape with their lives when a huge earthquake and tsunami devastated the area in March 2011, killing about 18,000 people and knocking out the nearby nuclear plant. In the town of Namie, the disaster obliterated the old port of Ukedo and its local fishing industry, as well as the Iwaki Kotobuki sake brewery that Suzuki’s family has owned for five generations. For two centuries, at least, it had made the rice wine that revived many a fisherman’s spirits after returning to port from the capricious Pacific Ocean with a hold brimming with fish. They would drink cups of Iwaki Kotobuki sake over white-meat sashimi of flounder and bass, delicacies from the Fukushima coast. “The sake was always there, just like the fish,” said one taciturn local fisherman, not wishing to be identified. “That is the way it has been here since my childhood.” Two years ago, the government gave the all-clear for the sale of fish from the Fukushima region to resume. The fisherman needed something to drink, and Suzuki then built a new sake plant back in Namie. >>click to read<< 15:42

Japan boosts fishing sector aid after Fukushima water release

The announcement came as more than 100 fishermen and locals living near Fukushima Prefecture were to file a lawsuit this week seeking to stop the discharge. The ¥20.7 billion ($141 million) in additional funding announced by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida comes on top of an existing ¥80 billion aimed at minimizing reputational damage to the industry and keeping businesses afloat. The beefed-up aid now totaling ¥100.7 billion is a reflection of the government’s “determination to protect” a sector already scarred by the 2011 nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima, Kishida said. >>click to read<< 11:24

Trawl Fishing Resumes off Fukushima amid N-Plant Water Release

The offshore trawl fishing season kicked off in the northeastern Japan prefecture of Fukushima on Friday, about a week after the country began discharging treated wastewater from the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Some 20 fishing vessels left Matsukawaura port in the city of Soma early in the morning. They began returning to the port from before noon for fish landings and auctions. “It’s regrettable we have to resume fishing while the treated water is being released, but I hope everyone will do their best,” Masahiro Kikuchi, vice head of the local Soma Futaba fisheries cooperative association, said at a departure ceremony held at the port from 1:30 a.m. >>click to read<< 12:18

Fukushima residents cautious after wrecked nuclear plant begins releasing treated wastewater

Fish auction prices at a port south of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were mixed amid uncertainty over how seafood consumers will respond to the release of treated and diluted radioactive wastewater into the ocean. The plant, which was damaged in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, began sending the treated water into the Pacific on Thursday despite protests at home and in nearby countries that are adding political and diplomatic pressures to the economic worries. The decades long release has been strongly opposed by fishing groups and criticized by neighboring countries. Japanese fishing groups fear the release will do more harm to the reputation of seafood from the Fukushima area. Photos, >click to read< 16:25

5 things to know about Japan’s Fukushima water release in the Pacific

Workers in Japan have started releasing treated radioactive water from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. The plant was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake and massive tsunami, and water has been accumulating ever since. On Thursday, the Chinese government announced it was immediately suspending aquatic imports, such as seafood, from Japan. A review by the UN’s nuclear watchdog says that the discharge will have a negligible radiological impact to people and the environment, but some nations remain concerned. Here’s what the Japanese government is doing, and why. >click to read< 09:12

Water release finds little support in Fukushima

Most Fukushima fishermen are tight-lipped but Haruo Ono can’t keep his thoughts to himself on Japan’s plans to release treated cooling water from the stricken nearby nuclear power plant into the Pacific from Thursday. “Nothing about the water release is beneficial to us. There is no advantage for us. None. It’s all detrimental,” Ono, who lost his brother in the 2011 tsunami that crippled the plant, told AFP. “Fishermen are 100 percent against,” the 71-year-old said at his modest home in Shinchimachi, around 60 kilometres (40 miles) north of the nuclear plant in northeast Japan. “The sea is where we work. We make a living off of the sea, we’re at the mercy of the sea. So if we don’t protect the sea, who would?” >click to read< 07:43

Japan PM Fumio Kishida to meet fishermen on Fukushima water release plan

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said he will meet fishermen as soon as Monday to seek their understanding of the government’s plan to release radioactive water from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific. Getting the tacit approval of organizations representing the fisherman is considered the final hurdle for the plan to release the treated waste water, a move the government says it wants to begin this summer. The plan to release 1.3 million tons of water from the tsunami-destroyed plant as Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) runs out of storage space, has been opposed by local fishing unions, caused concern among shoppers in South Korea and sparked import bans of Fukushima food products China. >click to read< 09:00

N.L. snow crab sales to Japan displaced by Russia

While many countries are imposing sanctions on Russia as a result of the war in Ukraine, Japan is taking advantage of low Russian snow crab prices. Clifford Small, MP for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame and federal fisheries critic, says that is preventing Newfoundland and Labrador processors from selling their crab to Japan, as they normally do. “To have one of our major markets dry up on us, and to dry up in a sense that basically they started buying from a country like Russia — that’s at war in Ukraine — flies in the face of what you’d expect from a great trading partner and an ally,” he said. >click to read< 15:44

Multi-million dollar capelin fishery is a bust for eastern Newfoundland

The Lone Wolf is lying idle at the wharf in Hickman’s Harbour, Trinity Bay. The only sound is the lap of water against hull, the occasional screech of sea gulls flying past, hunting for food. Earlier this year the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) set a quota of around 15,000 metric tonnes for fishing zones from the south coast (area 3Ps) to the North East coast (2J, 3K and 3L zones). Inshore licenses, like the one the Marshes have, grant them just 12,000 pounds of crab. “This year we landed $82,000 worth,” she said. And that’s not a whole lot of money to pay a crew and cover the expenses of running a boat. “Last year I could fuel up my boat for $800,” she noted. “This year it costs $1600.” Capelin could have added another $30-40,000 to their seasonal revenue, making it the second most important fishery for their enterprise. But they’re not fishing it. Why not? It’s complicated. >click to read< 11:05

Snow crab prices plummet in Newfoundland

It wasn’t the news fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador wanted to hear. They’ll get less for their snow crab after today, as the result of a decision by the province’s fish price setting panel. After reviewing a request from the Association of Seafood Producers and arguments by the Fish Food and Allied Workers, the panel went with the processors’ pitch of $6.15 per pound. That’s down nearly 20 per cent from the $7.60 per pound price that was set for the start of the season on April 1. In Nova Scotia, fish harvesters also saw a drop in snow crab prices a couple of weeks ago. They are now getting $8.25 a pound for snow crab, according to Gordon Beaton, local president with the Maritime Fishermen’s Union.  >click to read<  11:06

Amid tensions over Ukraine, Russia and Japan seal deal on fishing quotas

Japan and Russia have reached an agreement over Tokyo’s annual catch quota for Russian-born salmon and trout, the Japanese Fisheries Agency said Saturday, despite delays and chilled relations between the two sides amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The agreement on Japan’s quota for the popular fish in waters near disputed islands north of Hokkaido is a relief for Japanese fishermen who were worried about the prospects amid worsening ties between the two governments. >click to read< 08:42

Sanctions threaten to spoil Japan-Russia fishing rights talks

Japan has kicked off annual negotiations with Russia on commercial fishing quotas off the coast of Hokkaido, the Fisheries Agency said Monday, with the talks clouded by Tokyo’s plans to strengthen sanctions over the invasion of Ukraine. The two countries routinely set limits for salmon and sea trout catches in each other’s exclusive economic zones. Fishing season normally begins April 10, but the talks had been delayed by the war. Fishing cannot start until a deal is reached. Closed-door virtual discussions began Monday, according to the Fisheries Agency, with no set end date. >click to read< 16:08

Let Them Freeze: Wind & Solar Generators Couldn’t Care Less About Your Welfare

The wind and solar industries couldn’t care less whether you freeze to death when winter bites across the northern hemisphere and wind and solar output collapse. Solar panels plastered in snow and ice produce nothing; wind turbines frozen solid during breathless, frigid weather produce even less (they actually consume power from the grid to run heating systems meant to prevent their internal workings suffering permanent damage). So, if you’re sitting freezing in the dark, don’t expect wind and solar power generators to come to your rescue. No, if the lights and power are on this winter, then you ought to raise a glass for the gas, coal and nuclear power generators separating you and your loved ones from a date with hypothermia and, ultimately, the morgue. >click to read< 11:48

Tsunami: Widespread Fishery Damage from Tonga Eruption Reported across Japan

Fishery damage from a tsunami triggered by the recent eruption of an undersea volcano off the southern Pacific islands of Tonga has been reported in 10 prefectures across Japan, the Fisheries Agency said Friday. The agency is examining the amount of the damage, including the capsizing of fishing boats and the mass death of horse mackerel.  >click to read< 08:29

Traditional fishermen in despair over Peru oil spill – Callao, Peru: Hundreds of traditional fisherman living just outside the Peruvian capital fear their livelihoods are ruined following an oil spill caused by a volcanic eruption thousands of miles away. >click to read< 10:31

Japan: Bluefin tuna goes for $145,000 as pandemic dampens New Year auction

The top price paid for a tuna at the first auction of the year at Tokyo’s Toyosu fish market fell for the third year running, with demand hit by the pandemic. The first tuna auction of the year at Toyosu market is a closely watched tradition that draws a horde of fish wholesalers every year. Wednesday’s top-priced 465-pound fish was caught off the northern Aomori region of Japan, famous for its quality tuna, and went to Michelin-starred sushi restaurant operator Onodera Group and Japanese wholesaler Yamayuki. The tuna will be offered to customers both in Japan and at the firm’s restaurants abroad, including in Hawaii, New York and Los Angeles,,, >click to read< 14:16

New Year’s traditional ceremony at Fukushima port

Fishers at one of the northeastern Japanese ports damaged by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami have held a traditional ceremony to mark the New Year. Ukedo port in the town of Namie in Fukushima Prefecture suffered severe damage to its breakwaters, seawalls and other infrastructure when it was hit by the disaster. Work to rebuild the facility was completed last year. The ceremony, which is said to date back about 100 years, took place on Sunday, with some 300 people participating. It began with a local Shinto priest performing a ritual in front of fishing boats. Video, >click to read< 11:49

Increased quota offers ray of hope for bluefin tuna fishing industry

The decision to increase the quota cheered Takao Iwane, a 73-year-old fisherman who has plied the Sea of Japan waters off the town of Fukaura, Aomori Prefecture, for about 40 years. “Bluefin tuna prices go up in winter, so the announcement encouraged me,” said Iwane, who catches tuna using a handheld line with a single hook. Fukaura is known as one of the rock stars of Japan’s tuna fishing industry. Fishermen could operate without restrictions in waters off Fukaura several decades ago, but catches plunged around the time after regulations were introduced in 2015. In 2021, the four fishery cooperatives in Fukaura were allocated a combined quota of 302 tons. >click to read< 23:18

Japan: Large male snow crab fetches 5 mil. yen

A large male snow crab has fetched 5 million yen, or about $44,000 dollars, at the season’s first auction in central Japan. The auction of the winter delicacy was held on Saturday evening at a market at Kanazawa port on the Sea of Japan coast. Ishikawa Prefecture’s fisheries cooperative has begun to select large male snow crabs that are optimal in size and shape and sell them under a new brand name. Of 58 tons of Saturday’s catch, only one crab met all six criteria, including 1.5 kilograms in weight and 14.5 centimeters in shell width. Video, >click to read< 10:54

Bootstrapping – How Lowell Wakefield Made Crab King

While king crab fishing is among the most dangerous and lucrative activities in the world, it is only recent technology that makes it possible to extract this bounty from the sea,,, This has not always been the case. What is now known around the world as a culinary delicacy did not start out that way. In fact, before the mid-1940s, there were no king crab fishermen, no king crab fishing boats, and nothing that could be called a king crab industry. King crab legs simply were not widely consumed before the Second World War. Essentially, this industry was created through an evolutionary process executed by one man and his company, Lowell Wakefield and Wakefield Seafoods, Inc. A chronology of entrepreneurship. >click to read<  17:30

Why Are The Chum Runs So Low? It’s not just an Alaskan/Yukon phenomenon.

The State of Alaska has closed fishing for chum to protect the runs. For Yukon River families, chum is particularly important. Chinook salmon have been low for decades, but chum were the fish families could depend on until last year, when the summer chum run dropped below half of its usual numbers. This year the run dropped even further, to record lows. Biologist Katie Howard with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game said that the chum declines are not just occurring in the Yukon River. “When we talk to colleagues in the lower 48 and Canada, Japan, Russia, they are all reporting really poor chum runs. So it’s not just a Yukon phenomenon. It’s not just an Alaska phenomenon, but pretty much everywhere,” So why are the chum numbers so low? The short answer is no one really knows for sure. >click to read< 10:38

Elver eels rocket back up in value!

Maine is home to the U.S.’s only significant fishery for the baby eels, which are called elvers, and it’s taking place right now. Prices tanked last year due to disruption to the worldwide economy caused by the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the fishery is experiencing a return to normalcy. The tiny, wriggling fish are worth $1,634 per pound to fishermen, the Maine Department of Marine Resources reported on Monday. They’ve been worth between $1,300 and $2,400 per pound every year since 2015, except last year, when they were worth $525. >click to read< 11:22

Japanese fishermen angered by gov’t decision on Fukushima plant water release

The controversial move came at “the worst time” for fishermen who are stepping up preparations for the restart of full-fledged coastal fishing off Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, after years of small-scale, trial fishing complete with safety checks for radioactive materials to win back consumer trust, ended in March. “Why now? I’m strongly opposed to the release (of treated water),” said Yoshimi Terashima, a fisherman from the Fukushima town of Shinchi. “I want to go fishing every day like I used to,” said the 73-year-old, who can do so only twice a week at present. >click to read< 09:10