Seafood production in Japan hits record low

Seafood production in Japan has hit a record low for the second straight year.

The fisheries ministry says the output of marine products last year edged down 0.5 percent from the previous year to 4.175 million tons. That figure includes farmed marine products.

It is the lowest number recorded since 1956, when comparable data became available.

Mackerel output stood at 376,600 tons. That is down 16.4 percent from a year earlier. The production of salmon fell 0.9 percent to 55,900 tons. Saury production fell 35.2 percent to 29,700 tons.

The number for salmon is only 19.5 percent of the peak figure reached in 1996. The number for saury production is 5.2 percent of the peak figure marked in 1958.

Meanwhile, the production of sardines rose 25.9 percent from 2019 to 700,500 tons. The production of scallops grew 1.9 percent to 346,000 tons.

The fisheries ministry says catches of sauries and other fish remain poor. It says this is due to changes in tidal currents and water temperatures. It adds that demand for farmed oysters has declined, as the coronavirus pandemic has prevented people from dining out.