Seasonal fish delicacy goes on sale in Kobe

A seafood shop in western Japan has begun offering a popular spring delicacy, simmered Japanese sand lance.

Sales of the tiny fish known as "Ikanago," began at the store in Kobe City on Monday. The shop has sold fresh and simmered seafood for about 80 years.

The fishing season for sand lance began on Saturday. The catch in Hyogo Prefecture began to drop sharply six years ago. This year's haul is expected to be about the same as last year, or about 5 percent that of the peak year.

The shop has reduced the amount of the fish it sells for 1,000 yen, or about 7 dollars, by 35 percent compared with five years ago.

A male customer said that he came to buy it in a hurry as it was the first sale of the year. A female customer said it goes well with rice and alcoholic drinks.

The shop's owner said that he is hoping for good hauls so he can provide quality items at low prices.