Japan's 2019 Saury Haul Dives to Record Low

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 7 (Jiji Press)--Japan's saury catches hit a record low of 40,517 tons in 2019, down 66 pct from the previous year, an industry body said Tuesday.

The figure fell below the previous record for the smallest haul set in 1969, at around 52,000 tons, according to the National Saury Fishery Association.

The drop is thought to reflect rising sea temperatures and a boom in saury fishing by foreign ships on the high seas, possibly prompting international moves to strengthen regulations on catches and promote the recovery of saury stocks.

Catches off the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, the main saury fishing ground, plunged 63 pct to 21,364 tons, and those off Miyagi and Iwate prefectures, both in northeastern Japan, sank 70 pct to 9,943 tons and 66 pct to 8,086 tons, respectively.

The poor catches led to a spike in saury market prices in the regions, to an average of 316 yen per kilogram, up about 70 pct from 2018.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press