Seafood Industry of Japan—Promoting sustainable aquaculture and fisheries in Japan and Japan’s seafood products in the United States will focus on a series of events funded by the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) in January and February 2022. When it comes to sustainable seafood, we at our firm are proud that our project supports Japanese farmers in taking a holistic approach. According to JETRO LA President Osamu Taki, “we hope that this method which incorporates many significant sustainability issues would increase the accessibility of these items beyond traditional Japanese eateries.
Despite Japan’s reputation for producing some of the world’s best-known consumer brands, the country’s seafood business has traditionally been confined to domestic consumption. As a result, seafood enterprises can now sell to new markets since younger generations are eating more land-based protein. A strong heritage, high-quality processing standards, and particular attention to animal care and processing processes all contribute to the distinctiveness of Japanese seafood.
Chef Kyle Connaughton of SingleThread collaborates on a series of promotional events in the United States. With our partner Sea Tech Trading, Postelsia has helped strengthen Japanese fisheries and aquaculture producers over the past four years, and I am grateful to be able to tell the tale of our effort to the American market.”
In addition to Postelsia’s Corey Peet, the campaign will have another significant spokesperson in Postelsia. It is a great privilege for me to help spread the word about the unique qualities of Japanese sustainable seafood here in the United States. By looking at sustainability through the prism of a place-based perspective, “we can bring more storied products into the US market,” adds Peet. Chef Connaughton will be the guest of honor at The Progress in San Francisco at the end of the tour.
The fish sector in Japan is worth $11.6 billion. Domestic demand for fish had decreased by about 20 percent since 2005 when pork and beef became more popular in Japan. In the last twelve years, Japanese seafood intake per capita has dropped from roughly 40 kilograms to 27 kilos.
When I went to Owase, Japan, a small fishing hamlet near Mie Prefecture, I found a flourishing fishing culture and way of life. Susan Weller of Orrani was able to visit the port of Owase in the early morning hours following a typhoon. Fishers arrived at Owase Port to unload their catch, and the sound of fishing boats could be heard.
The most common pitfall of the day was tuna, but there were also sardines, snails, eels, and stingrays among the other marine life. Next, she was able to visit “Owase Itadakishi,” the once-monthly local market, where she spoke with vendors and learned about the fresh seasonal catch as well as a newly developed product of processed tuna, which will be featured in Japan Airlines First Class meals and sold as a specialty item aboard flights.
There are around 350 different kinds of fish that Japan can provide locally and globally. Japanese seafood exports have risen by 30 percent in recent years due to increasing global interest in sushi and other Japanese fish dishes. This component of fish is often overlooked in Western markets. Fish and their physical details fascinate you? Maguro Shoten restaurant is an excellent option if you’re in Tokyo and want to see a daily tuna-cutting demonstration.
The Seafood Industry of Japan Faces Huge Scandal
Controversy has once again shattered the public’s trust in food labels.
Recent anger over widespread practices of falsely labeling “asari” short neck clams imported from Japan as “made in Kumamoto” begs for an exhaustive inquiry to uncover how the fraud was performed and who should be held accountable to guarantee adequate countermeasures are taken.
Due to endemic lying regarding agricultural, marine, and livestock products, more than ten similar cases are brought to the attention of the authorities each year by the federal and local governments.
In any case, the “Kumamoto asari” fraud story is a startling one.
China and South Korea supply Japan with a significant amount of asari. Asari labeled “domestic” accounted for nearly all the amount sold between October and December of last year, with around 80% bearing the “made in Kumamoto” label, according to estimates from the ministry of agriculture and fisheries.
Only 21 tons were harvested in Kumamoto out of 4,400 tons collected in the country in 2020.
Thirty-one out of 31 packages labeled “Kumamoto asari” at the time of the grocery study were found to come from outside Japan.
At one point, 40% of Japan’s clam supply came from Kumamoto, making the brand a must-have item.
To take advantage of this well-known brand name, clam import and distribution dealers cheated consumers for years. For how long has this willful deception been allowed to go unchallenged by anyone?
Central and local government institutions responsible for food labeling have been vertically compartmentalized, resulting in a lack of coordination and information exchange between the two levels of government.
This configuration is ineffective and must be changed immediately. All parties involved in cooperation with law enforcement agencies must investigate this scandal as quickly as feasible.
As part of a two-month embargo on clam imports, the Kumamoto prefectural government and the prefectural fisheries association have lately worked together to establish a strategy for eliminating such fraudulent operations once and for all.
According to Japan’s food labeling standards, if a product is farmed at multiple sites, it can be labeled as originating from a single location.
Kumamoto Prefecture concluded that this rule had been exploited and requested that asari be exempted. According to the prefecture, there should be a traceability mechanism in place for cattle and rice to prevent fraud.
According to Kumamoto Prefecture, inadequate record-keeping by Asari import brokers makes it impossible to examine past transactions.
Keeping precise records of all transactions, even those involving domestic products, on everything from manufacturing and importation to wholesale, retail, and foodservice is a basic rule of business for all companies involved in distribution.
Although small- and medium-sized businesses are supposed to avoid this process, the prefecture must develop measures that will entice them.
Because of the asari incident in Kumamoto Prefecture, sales of “hamaguri” clams, which are known for their vast size and luscious meat, have dropped dramatically. We implore the public to exercise common sense in the face of this crisis. As a result, the public’s reaction serves as a clear indicator that people are aware of the dangers of contaminated food.
Public and business sectors must unite to fight against food labeling deception following the asari crisis.