Japan's seafood production falls below 4 mil. tons for 2nd year

Japan's fisheries ministry says seafood production in the country hit another record low last year, falling below 4 million tons for the second consecutive year.

The ministry released preliminary figures that do not include data for Ishikawa Prefecture where survey is delayed by the Noto Peninsula earthquake.

The total amount of marine products in 2023, including farmed seafood, fell by 4.9 percent or about 190 thousand tons from the previous year, to about 3.72 million tons.

The ministry says the figure is expected to mark the lowest ever, even after the data for Ishikawa is included.

Fishery catches dropped 4.3 percent to about 2.82 million tons.

The sardine catch rose 6.1 percent from 2022 to 680,900 tons, while the haul of mackerel was down by 18.3 percent to 261,100 tons, and bonito down by 20 percent to 152,600 tons.

Catches of walleye pollack and Japanese common squid fell by 23.4 percent to 122,900 tons and by 36.2 percent to 19,600 tons respectively.

Catches of saury, which have been poor for many years, rose by about 7,000 tons to 25,800 tons, but the figure is still about four percent compared to the peak year of 1958.

Products from marine aquaculture fell 6.9 percent to 849,000 tons.

Oyster production was down 11.7 percent to 146,300 tons, and production of scallops dropped by 12.1 percent to 151,300 tons.

Japan's Fisheries Agency says it will strive to improve the state of the industry at a time when the marine environment is changing due to global warming and other factors.