Japan Saury Catches Hit Record Low in 2020

Economy

Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--Japan's saury catches in 2020 fell 27 pct from the previous year to a record low of 29,566 tons, an industry body said Wednesday.

The previous smallest catches were 40,517 tons, set in 2019, which had represented the lowest level since comparable data became available in 1961. Reflecting the poor catches, market prices for saury in 2020 rose 50 pct from the 2019 levels to an average of 480 yen per kilogram, according to the saury fishing association.

Catches in waters off the northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido, the main fishing ground for saury, dropped 46 pct to 11,613 tons, and those off Iwate and Miyagi prefectures, both in northeastern Japan, fell by 7 pct to 7,512 tons and by 3 pct to 9,625 tons, respectively. Many of the saury caught in 2020 were small.

The poor catches were apparently due to a decrease in the amount of saury migrating to waters near Japan because of rising seawater temperatures amid global warming. In addition, Chinese and Taiwanese fishing boats are catching saury massively before the fish reach waters near Japan.

With Japanese saury fishers increasingly forced to operate in high seas far away from the coast, mainly using large vessels, as a result, they are facing greater financial burdens, an official of the association said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press