Japan's Saury Catches Plummeting Further

Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 31 (Jiji Press)--Japan's saury catches, already on a serious downtrend in recent years, have been plummeting further this year, with ports in Hokkaido, a major fishing region, posting drastically low volumes in the second half of August, when catches of the fish usually start to spike.

With no recovery in sight, fishermen, and workers at fish markets and retailers have expressed lament over the poor catches and resultant high prices that could lead the quintessential autumn delicacy being left off the dinner table.

The total amount of saury unloaded at Hanasaki port in Nemuro, Hokkaido, and other major fishing ports in the northernmost Japan prefecture during the 15 days from Aug. 16 failed to reach 800 tons, less than a 10th of the level of more than 8,000 tons posted in the same period of 2018, which was also a sluggish year for saury.

"I don't remember ever seeing catches so small after the 'bon' holiday (in mid-August)," a fishing industry source said.

Reflecting the slow catches at the beginning of the saury fishing season, median prices of the top-selling 130-gram saury at Tokyo's Toyosu wholesale market in late August hovered between 1,000 yen and 2,000 yen per kilogram, almost double the levels of the same period last year.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press