In 2022, seafood lovers in Japan had a tough year due to the shortage and high prices of local fish. Although some catches did not decline, fewer fish reached stores and homes. The issue can only be solved by properly utilizing marine resources and preserving Japan’s seafood cuisine culture.
Unfavorable global weather, the COVID-19 pandemic, and disruptions from the Russian invasion of Ukraine have led to higher food prices, causing fewer people to consume fish and seafood.
Paradoxically, most types of seafood catches have remained stable. The Japan Fisheries Association is advocating for more Japanese to consume fish caught by Japanese fishermen.
Pacific saury, once a common household dish in Japan, is becoming less available due to low catches and small size of the fish. Salmon, tuna, and king crab, popular seafood dishes during the winter, are also in shorter supply and at high prices. Although catches of sardines, mackerel, scallops, bonito, and pollock are at comparable levels to previous years, they are not widely available due to uneven distribution and consumption.
These fish varieties are in demand but are often used as fertilizer and feed, leading to the perception that all seafood is expensive and difficult to obtain.