Japan’s fish catch in 2022 hit record-low amid global warming

Japan’s fish catch in 2022 hit record-low amid global warming

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Japan’s fish catch in 2022 hit record-low amid global warming

Pacific saury are unloaded for the first time this season at Onahama Port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, on Oct. 10, 2022.

Japan’s fish catch in 2022 fell 7.5 percent from a year earlier to a record low 3.85 million tons, government data showed Tuesday, as global warming has continued to take its toll.

The total, which includes farm-grown fish, was the lowest figure since comparable data became available in 1956 and marked a second consecutive year of decline, according to the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The annual white paper on fisheries said that poor catch is likely to continue in the long term due to rising sea temperatures.

By category, saury slipped 5.6 percent from the previous year to 18,400 tons, while Japanese flying squid fell 8.3 percent to 29,700 tons and octopus dropped 18.7 percent to 22,200 tons — all record lows, the data said.

Sardine was down 4.2 percent to 613,200 tons due to poor catch in Miyagi and Aichi prefectures, while mackerel declined 28.5 percent to 315,900 tons, dragged down by low figures in Ibaraki and Mie prefectures, according to the data.

Apart from global warming, overfishing has also been a factor in the decline in catches, while the government is working to strengthen regulations.

To better understand and manage marine resources, the government aims to increase the number of fish species it monitors from 50 in fiscal 2018 to around 200 by the end of this fiscal year.

Meanwhile, salmon increased 55.0 percent to 87,900 tons and anchovy rose 13.3 percent to 135,100 tons.

Among cultured species, scallop advanced 4.6 percent to 172,100 tons, led by an increase in Hokkaido, while eel declined 7.3 percent to 19,155 tons.