Japan's saury catch hits record low for 4th straight year

A Japanese saury fishing cooperative says the country's catch of the fish hit a record low in 2022 for the fourth year in a row.

The group says 17,910 tons of saury were caught off Japan in the main season for the fish between August and December in 2022.

That's down about two percent from the same period in 2021, and the smallest haul since 1961, when comparable data became available.

The Fisheries Agency and the cooperative suspect ocean currents may have changed due to global warming and other reasons, moving fishing grounds further off coasts. They also say such environmental changes may have made it difficult for young fish to grow.

The annual average price per 10 kilograms of the fish was down by about seven percent from the previous year, as the size of the fish was relatively small early in the season.

The fishing group says the situation is tough as the haul was poor even though they ventured out to remote fishing grounds, at a time when fuel prices are surging.

They call for authorities to take steps such as introducing effective international regulations to better manage saury resources.