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May 9, 2005

Total Production Quantity Down 5.8%

Fisheries and Aquaculture Production Statistics for 2004
Decline in Scallop and Skipjack Output
Adverse Weather Coincides with a Decrease in the No of Operators

On April 28, the Statistics Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan announced the fisheries and aquaculture production statistics for 2004. According to the report, the total production quantity for fisheries and aquaculture in 2004 was 5.733 million tons, representing a decrease of 350,000 tons (or 5.8%) as compared to the previous year.

The catch quantity from marine fisheries stood at 4.411 million tons, down 310,000 tons (or 6.6%) as compared to the previous year. Although landings of Alaska pollock, jack mackerel, mackerel and similar species increased, output of saury pike, squid, skipjack, anchovy, scallop, etc. decreased significantly. The main reasons cited for the decline in marine fish output were changes in the Kuroshio Current (black current) and weather effects.

The trends observed with regard to the five high-volume catch species are as follows:

  1. The anchovy catch was 498,000 tons. This represented a decrease of 37,000 tons (or 6.9%) over 2003. The decline was due to a decrease in quantities caught using ship-drawn trawl nets and medium-to-large and small-to-medium purse seines.
  2. The catch of mackerel and fish of the mackerel family was 335,000 tons. Although quantities caught using small-to-medium purse seines decreased, there was an increase in the quantities caught using set nets and other methods, resulting in an overall increase of 6000 tons (or 1.8%) over 2003.
  3. The scallop catch was 314,000 tons. As the majority of scallop is caught in Hokkaido, weather and other effects caused a decline of 30,000 tons (or 8.7%) as compared to 2003.
  4. The skipjack catch was 283,000 tons, down 39,000 tons (or 12.1%) on 2003 due to a decrease in quantities caught using pole and line and medium-to-large sized purse seines.
  5. The total quantity of jack mackerel caught was 251,000 tons. Although the quantities caught using medium-to-large purse seines decreased, the catch from set nets and other methods increased to give an overall increase of 9000 tons (or 3.7%) over 2003.

The yield from marine fish farms was 1.216 million tons, 35,000 tons (or 2.8%) less than the previous yearユs output. While there was an increase in the quantity of nori seaweed (laver) and oysters (with shells) harvested, the quantities of scallop and yellowtail (Japanese amberjack) fell. The scallop catch was affected by weather and a drop in the number of fishing vessels/companies engaged in scallop fishing.

The yield of finfish from coastal fish farms was 261,000 tons, down 3000 tons (or 4.7%) as compared to 2004.

  1. At 150,000 tons, the yellowtail catch decreased by 8000 tons (or 5.1%) over 2003.
  2. At 81,000 tons, the red sea bream catch decreased by 2000 tons (or 2.4%) over 2003.

The total output of marine farmed shellfish (with shells) was 453,000 tons, 32,000 tons (or 6.6%) less than in 2003.

  1. The scallop catch at 215,000 tons represented a drop of 43,000 tons (or 16.7%) over the previous year.
  2. The oyster harvest increased by 11,000 (or 4.9%) as compared to 2004 to yield 236,000 tons.

The harvest of farmed seaweeds was 484,000 tons (weight of fresh harvest), up 6000 tons (or 1.3%) over 2003.

  1. The nori seaweed (laver) harvest was 359,000, 12,000 tons (or 3.5%) more than the previous year.
  2. The production volume of wakame seaweed was 62,000 tons, 2000 tons (3.3%) greater than the previous year.
  3. The quantity of cultured pearls harvested in 2004 was 31 tons, one ton (or 3.1%) down compared to the previous year.

As for the catch from inland-water fisheries and onshore aquaculture, 2004 saw the production quantities of salmon and trout increase due to an increase in the quantity of these fish species migrating up stream. The quantities of carp caught declined dramatically nationwide as a result of the carp herpes epidemic.

The catch from inland-water fisheries was 60,688 tons, up 737 tons (or 1.2%) as compared to 2003.

The catch from inland fish farms (consisting mainly of four fish species) was 45,683 tons, being 4,422 tons (or 8.8%) less than in 2003.

By and large, total production quantities have been declining since 1988, although this downward trend was reversed in 2003.

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