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Poor Saury Catch Creates Concern About Future Outlook

August 23, 2010

There has been a report about the poor catches of saury, representative of the autumn bites. Following an open season for small to medium size fishing boats, large ships were allowed to operate starting on August 15. It took four days for the first harvest to be landed because of numerously existing fishing grounds and seawater temperatures. As reported so far, the overall yield is about one-tenth of the last year's amount; the wholesale prices have swollen twice to three times as much.

Sauries have in recent years exhibited solid yield amounts: 296,000 tons in 2007; 343,000 tons in 2008; and 308,000 tons in 2009. 1998 and 1999 however stood at 140,000 tons and 135,000 tons respectively.

Based on the past years' records, catches should show an upward move from late August to September. According to the Japan Fisheries Information Service Center, there is a possibility that sauries may take a southward drift this year, as opposed to traditional fishing areas. The future trajectory of the species is the focal interest.

The original article was published on August 23, 2010 and was translated by Kiyo Hayasaka.

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