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Hokkaido Prefectural Fishery Cooperation Meeting Hopes for Larger Salmon Commercial Distribution

August 28, 2008

The Hokkaido Prefectural Fishery Cooperation held its autumn business meeting in Tokyo on August 26, 2008. The production status and distribution of its core merchandise, chum salmon, scallop, and saury were the subjects of the meeting.

Upon convening the meeting, Masao Miyamura, a Vice Deputy Chairman, made a statement, representing the Hokkaido Fishery Cooperation; “The total seafood production amount in 2003 dipped below 250 billion yen in Hokkaido; however in recent years, globally rising demand of marine products has contributed to recovery of fish prices; the total production amount regained its strength to 300 billion yen. The total production volume was 1.46 million tons, accounting for a quarter of the national fishery output. Despite rebounding prices of chum salmon and scallop, domestic consumption of these items has been sluggish. Through a dialogue at today’s meeting, I am hoping to find ways to boost the consumption.”

The Hokkaido Prefectural Fishery Cooperation spoke of chum salmon production; “Combining the numbers in Hokkaido and the main land Japan, the total output of 200,000 tons is expected. Growing demand of raw materials in China has contributed to higher fish prices, exceeding 300 yen/kg. We anticipate that we will continue importing to China; however we hope to put more efforts into the domestic market. Such diversified products as fillet and salted fillet contributed to lower production of salted whole salmon. Keeping pace with changes in the domestic market, we aim to expand domestic consumption.”

Aiming To Actively Expand Domestic Market, Aided By Strong Exports To China

The total chum salmon harvest of 2007 in Hokkaido was 157,500 tons; the lowest in the past five years, and yet it placed as the eighth highest in the past, maintaining high levels of production. Prices for harvest exhibited an upward trend of 340 yen/kg, compared to 151 yen/kg in 2003. Products made from chum salmon, such as salted whole salmon and ikura (salon roe) were recently considered as high-end commodities in the Japanese market. Strong exports to China continue to aid the expansion of the domestic market.

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