Low-Priced, Fatty Bonitos Available in Japan at Start of Season

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, May 30 (Jiji Press)--The first bonitos of the season in Japan, known as "hatsugatsuo," caught off the country between spring and early summer, are being sold at low prices thanks to a sharp recovery in catches.

"They are fatty. This is rare for the fish caught at this time of the year," said an official of a wholesaler at the iconic Toyosu wholesale food market in Tokyo.

The recovery in catches, which had been sluggish in recent years, is bringing the seasonal delicacy back to the dinner table.

Catches have been surging in Chiba Prefecture, east of Tokyo, and elsewhere in Japan since mid-May. The amount of bonitos unloaded in Chiba, including at the main ports of Katsuura and Choshi, totaled some 3,700 tons in the first 28 days of May, up more than fourfold from a year before.

This was because the Kuroshio warm current in the Pacific Ocean is "flowing closer to the Japanese coast" this year than in usual years, allowing fishers to operate in fishing grounds relatively close to the shore, according to the Japan Fisheries Information Service Center.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press