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Nationwide Fishermen’s Strike Expected Not to Cause Much Stir

July 14, 2008

Tokyo Fish Wholesaler Cooperative held a press meeting at Tsukiji Market on July 11, 2008, about the nationwide fishermen’s strike, scheduled to take place on July 15, 2008. Directors of the fresh fish division of wholesalers, and middle traders from Tsukiji Market attended the meeting. Hiroyuki Ito, the director of the cooperative stated, “As a distributor responsible for supplying safe and fresh marine products, the decision to stop fishing nationwide cannot be fully accepted. I believe that this decision will be unable to fundamentally solve the issue unless we tackle it by involving all the related parties; fishermen, distributors, and retailers.”

Six representatives from the middle trader’s sector and six from five wholesalers attended the meeting; each expressed his opinion of the decision to halt fishing in Japan for a day.

Concern about Impact of Reduced Fish Availability

Ito further commented, “I understand the distressed condition of fishermen due to soaring fuel costs; however it is crucial to think through the degree of effect of reducing fish availability. Higher fish prices will drive consumers away from fish. Just simply stopping fishing for one day will not lead to a fundamental solution of the issue fishermen have been facing.”

Hitoshi Yokoo, the director of the fresh fish division of Toto Suisan, said, “This one-day event will not considerably influence fish availability. If I were to say more, quickly perishable fresh squid, sardine, and mackerel will be somewhat affected.”

Regarding the receiving of tuna, Tadao Ban, the operation manager of Oomono Gyokai, maintained, “the amount of tuna we received in the past two month dropped by 25% from the last year. Currently, its unit price has risen by 30%. I do not consider that the even on July 15 will generate a significant result.”

Asked about the meeting prior to the press conference, middle traders and wholesalers voiced their concern about the consequence of fishermen’s strike, “we honestly do not know how to handle this type of unprecedented decision; however both middle traders and wholesalers have been preparing for the maximum use of live fish tanks with an aim of stable supply of fish. I therefore do not believe that we will be affected so much by this,” said Hisatsugu Yonemoto, the president of Sengyo Gyokai.

Emphasizing the need of collective and cooperative solutions to cope with the skyrocketing fuel costs, Ito said, “It will be difficult to offset the high fuel costs by merely raising fish prices. We need to make diligent efforts at every sector of the fishery industry by expanding distribution roots and encouraging consumers to eat more fish.”

Translated by Kiyo Hayasaka on July 13, 2008

Nippon Suisan Promotes Tuna Aquaculture at Seafood Show

July 14, 2008

Nippon Suisan will take part in the 10th Japan International Food Show held at Tokyo Big Site on July 23 thru 25.

Embracing the theme, “Nissui’s domestic tuna aquaculture business: creation of new value with business partners,” Nissui Group will present short-term aquaculture of “Ine Tuna,” a collaboration between Nissui local links and local fisheries cooperatives, and bluefin farming businesses at Amami, Koshiki, and Tsushima.

Bluefin fillet blocks will be displayed, alongside with a tasting space of sushi, steaks, as well as carpaccio. Due to its being off-season, only will Ine tuna business be displayed.

Translated by Kiyo Hayasaka on July 13, 2008

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