Series on Sea and Human Security Workshop on Food Security 1-6 October 2006, Hiroshima, Japan

Takanori OHASHI Deputy Director Office of Resource Management Assistance, Fisheries Agency of the Government of Japan The State of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Japan Outline 1. Overview of developments in Fisheries & Aquaculture Capture fisheries and aquaculture in Japan are of vital importance for food security and for regional economies. Capture fisheries are more influenced by the migration patterns of targeted fish as well as by the environment. Access to fishing grounds is generally non-discriminatory. It can provide immediate income and food as long as the means and the rights of production are available. By contrast, Aquaculture has different features compared to capture fisheries as it is easier to plan and predict production and secure a stable supply, if it is appropriately managed. The raising of fish through aquaculture requires both time and money. Capture fisheries production shows a consistent downward trend in last two decades with an annual output of 12 to 4.8 million tons. Aquaculture production has roughly remained stable during the last decade, hovering around 1.2 -.1.4 million tones annually. Aquaculture accounts for 30 % of total fish production in Japan. 2. The Issue Facing Fishers and Aquaculturists According to a resource assessment conducted in 2006 on major fish stocks in the water around Japan, the levels of fish stocks are low for more than half of the species or stocks assessed. Rehabilitation of the state of fish stocks within the EEZ is needed so as to increase fish production while reducing excessive fishing efforts. The aquaculture sector suffers from the environmental degradation of the aquaculture grounds due to excessive stocking intensity and over-feeding for increased production as well as from public pollution. Increased imports of seed fish such as yellowtail, have increased the possibility that diseases could be brought in from overseas. 3. Recent Actions Undertaken A framework for Resource Recovery Plans was established in 2002. Under such plans, a decrease in the number of boats, suspension of operations and other fishing restrictions have been imposed, releases of seedlings have been promoted to enhance fishery resources, and the environment of fishing grounds has been restored and conserved. So far 35 resource recovery plans have been developed and implemented. These plans include measures that have had severe short-term effects on fishery income. A Saving Income Relief Scheme was available to alleviate the severe fishery business management. “The Law to Ensure Sustainable Aquaculture Production” was established in 1999. The law provides a framework to promote secure and sustainable aquaculture. The law includes systems for promoting voluntary plans to maintain and improve the environment of aquaculture grounds by fishery cooperatives and measures for the prevention of specific fish diseases. More than 80% of the aquaculture sites in Japan have been under the control of these voluntary plans. 4. Future Perspectives Proactive recovery planning is a recent development. Success in this has been limited and many plans are still underway. Given that recovery will be compromised if environments become unfavorable and that many stocks will require long rebuilding periods, on-going recovery plans will probably need to be supplemented by large closed area and technical measures. The quality rather than the volume of aquaculture products are becoming increasingly prevailing in Japan’s market. Japanese consumers are very concerned with matters related to the use of drugs and feeding as well as the traceability of aquaculture products. Further efforts will be needed to prevent health hazards and


Series on Sea and Human Security Workshop on Food Security 1-6 October 2006, Hiroshima, Japan

safeguard consumers. 5. Special Issue in the Asian Region The abundance of larger, more valuable species has declined, while the proportion of smaller fish referred to as “trash fish,” has notably increased. These trash fish are used directly or indirectly as fish meal in aquaculture. Demand for these low-value trash fish for this purpose has fuelled increasing pressure on fish stocks. Coastal fisheries in the Asian region will continue to decline unless excessive fishing capacity and fishing efforts are greatly reduced.


State of Fisheries & Aquaculture in Japan
Management and Enhancement toward the Sustainable Utilization of Marine Living Resources

Takanori OHASHI Deputy Director Office of Fisheries Resource Management Assistance Fisheries Agency of Japan

State of World Fisheries & Aquaculture

World capture and aquaculture production
(million tons)
160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1997

Capture fisheries : top ten producers Aquaculture : top ten producers in 2002 in 2002

( million tons)

( million tons)

T haiand l 2. 9 R ussi a Federati on 3. 2

N orw ay 2. 7
T haiand l 0. 6 B angl adesh 0. 8

C hie l 0. 5 Vi etnum 0. 5

N orw ay 0. 5

U ni ted S tates 0. 5


I a ndi 3. 8 C hie l 4. 3

C hi ne 16. 6

Japan 0. 8 I ndonesi a 0. 9

A quacul ture

Japan 4. 4

P eru 8. 8

I a ndi 2. 2 C hi ne 27. 8








I ndonesi a 4. 5

U ni S tates ted 4. 9


Marine Capture Fisheries & Aquaculture Production in Japan
(T housand tons)







M ari ne C apture Fi sheri es


A quacul ture
0 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993 1995 1997 1999 2001 2003 Y ears

The Issue Facing Fishers
Trend of Fish Stock Level Conditions in Japan’s Water

H ig h

☆ More than 50% of fish stock or species → low level!

M id d le


Over fishing capacity
L o w

Degradation of marine environment


0% 2000






Stock Level: The state of main fish stocks or groups of resources is categorized into high, middle and low levels according to catch trend and stock condition in last two decades. For example, North-Pacific sardine categorized as high level, given the annual harvest of more than 1.5million tons until the early 1990’s.Now it is categorized as low level given the recent drastic decline of harvest of less than 0.1million ton.

Downsizing fish stocks


Global Trends in the State of Marine Fisheries Resource 1974-2004

The Issue Facing Aquaculturists

Fish Disease

Excessive stocking Density

Public Pollution

Feeding of “Raw fish”

Negative Impact on
• The marine environment • Quality & safety of the aquaculture products • Consumer’s confidence


The Basic law on Fisheries Policy in 2002 ・Basic principles of the law ①Securing a stable supply of fishery product ②Sound development of fisheries ③Establishment of Basic Plan for Fisheries Policy (for necessary measures to implement the principle ①&②)
・Target of Self Sufficiency Rate for seafood :56%(1999)→66%(2012) ・Establishment of Resource Recovery Scheme (Capture Fisheries) ・Establishment of the “Law to Ensure Sustainable Aquaculture Production” (Aquaculture)

Recent Action
Establishment of Resource Recovery Plan (RRP)
Wide-Area Fisheries Coordinating Committee (Sub- Wide-Area Fisheries Coordinating Committee)

Consideration of the need of RRP Fishermen’s Council Discussion of the draft of RRP

Development of RRR by national or regional government
・Target of Recovery Level/A Period of Implementation/Methods of Fishing Effort Reduction

Resource Management Planning Officer


Implementation of RRP
Fishing Effort Reduction
・Scrapping/Days-off fishing

Active Resource Enhancement
・Release and management of fry

Fish Habitat Restoration
・Marine forest/Sea bed cleaning

・Mandatory measures by using Total Allowable Effort ・Saving Income Relief scheme


Key Elements of Resource Recovery Scheme
Functional Aspects of the Resource Recovery Scheme
Local Fishermen The principal decision makers
Sea of Japan・Kyushu-west WAFCC Sea of Japan-North Sub-com

Management area of a Wide-Area Fisheries Coordinating Committee (WAFCC)

Fishermen’s Council Substantial work for the development of RRP

Wide-Area FCC Consideration, approval & monitoring of RRP

Sea of Japan-West Sub-com Pacific-North Sub-com

Resource management planning office A consensus builder

Kyushu-West Sub-com Pacific-South Sub-com

Resource Recovery Plan
TAE Avoiding the substantial increase of fishing efforts by setting the number of fishing boats, days, tow Saving Income Relief Scheme Compensation for definitive or temporary loss of right or economic

Seto-Inland Sea WAFCC

Pacific WAFCC

Regional Fisheries Coordinating Office

Outline of Saving Income Relief Scheme
Decreasing Fish stocks Over-fishing capacity
Inducing Fishers’ Proactive Action

Significant Economic worse

•Reduction of fishing fleets •Business maintenance No support… Poor economic condition coursed by Income decrease

Development of a Resource Recovery Plan


Development of a Plan of Operation for Reduction of Fishing Capacity

Implementation of Reduction of Fishing fleets and of the Day-off Fishing

Inactive action Support… Alleviation of poor economic condition Proactive action


Evaluation of the outcome & finding and Feedback

Recovery/Increase of Fish stocks

Stock sustainability Economic viability

Ensuring Stable Seafood Supply


On-going Resource Recovery Plans

1 Sand lance 2 Barfin flounder 3 Flatfish 5 Littlemouth flounder, Sailfin sandfish 6 Puffer,conger,etc. 7 Red snow crab 8 Flathead flounder 9 Spanish mackerel

11 Little neck 12 Clam 13 Spear squid 14 Puffer 15 Clam

Wide-Area species Local species


Future Perspectives (Capture Fisheries)
☆ Past experience (FAO) shows that recovery has been successful, → 46% of the case for groundfish. → 67% of the case for pelagic fish. → 71% of the case for invertebrates.

☆ Recovery of groundfish will require rebuilding period of 15 years or more, and probably need to be supplemented by large closed areas & technical measures.

☆ Elaboration of post recovery management to avoid significant new increase in effort.

☆ Incorporating aspects of recovery planning into routine.

Recent Action
The law to Ensure Sustainable Aquaculture Production
Seeks to prevent the self-induced environmental deterioration around aquaculture ground.

Aquaculture Ground Improvement Programs • Voluntary program by fishermen’s cooperative • Approval by the relevant prefectural government under the guidance of the Law

Ensuring Sustainable Aquaculture Production

Sound Development of Aquaculture & Stable Supply of Seafood in a safety & reliable manner


State of the on-going Aquaculture Ground Improvement Programs
Contents of the program 1. Target Levels of Improvements - DO, TS, Mortality rate, etc. 2. Measures to be taken - Rearing density, type of feeds, treatment of dead fish, etc. 3. Monitoring of the Environment - Water temperature, DO, benthic organism, etc. 4. Institutional arrangements - Standing committee for ensuring Implementation & Monitoring of the on-going programs. The number of established program has reached 340, covering 38% to 84% of Aquaculture production volume.
Prefect ures 22 Planned 340
Participating Fisheries Cooperatives

Coverage Fish 83.6% Shellfish 38.0% Seaweed 61.4%


※)coverage(%) = Production volume in the program site / overall aquaculture production volume

Trend of the quality of the Aquaculture grounds at a certain of place in Ehime Prefecture
0.55 0.50

Rational Use of “Feeds” (Transfer to compound feeds)
• Waste ratio of compound feeds has been drastically decreasing, as compared to that raw fish. • 56% of aquaculture feeds accounts for compound feeds. Waste ratio of aquaculture feeds
Yellowtail Raw fish (minced) Raw fish Compound feeds (moist) Compound feeds (dry) 70% 20~30% 15~20% >3% 5~15% Snapper 42%



















Regulation on feeds
• A standard of ingredients for main feeds & its additive under “The Law to Ensure Safety & improve Quality of Feeds”. • Regulation on the use of antimicrobial agent in the feeds. • A standard of ingredients of nutrition of feeds.



The ratio of sorid to compound


mg/g Dried mud

0.45 0.40 0.35 0.30 0.25 0.20 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005

0.61 0.30

※) the volume of volatile sulfurized materials at the bottom of the sea

Compound feed production (powder, solid)
180,000 160,000 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0


Compound for yellowtail

70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%


Fish Disease Control
1.State of the Fish Disease Occurrence •Downturn trend of fish disease damage while complicated fish disease occurrence. • Increasing possibility that the diseases are brought from overseas, due to a movement to diversify aquaculture species. •Increasing virus resistant to veterinary drugs. 2. Fish Disease Control Scheme The scheme aims to prevent the spread of fish disease through imports of marine animals for use in aquaculture or propagation of stocks. Recent Damage Caused by Fish disease
Year Production (Volume)
thousand tons

Outline of the Scheme

Application for a Permit

Examination Permit No Permit
If necessary Isolation & Observation in a given period Suspicious of the Disease Investigation

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries of Japan

Condition under the Permit

Production (Value)
Thousand tons

Estimated damage
Billion yen

(B) / (A)
Identification of No Infection Identification of Infection



1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004

329 321 321 322 326 310

3,390 3,182 2,862 2,694 2,693 2,563 -

227 130 134 108 90 -

6.3 3.9 4.5 3.8 3.3



Future Perspective
☆ Sound Market Research & Export Promotion Policies The needs of consumers : introduction of new labeling requirements, traceability, chemical residue. ☆ Improving the aquaculture sector’s public image & Gaining consumer confidence

Consumers’ concern : proper use of veterinary drug, traceability, labeling for its origin, improvement of aquaculture grounds.

Consumer’s Field Trip

Study group / Program


Emerging Issues
☆ Capture-Based Aquaculture (CBA)
• Practice of collecting “seed” material from early life stages to adult from the wild, and its subsequent on growing to marketable size in captivity, using aquaculture techniques. • Direct competitor of capture fisheries. • High mortality rates in the transfer of seed to CBA farm. • Conflict with other resource users.

Legal & institutional instrument recognizing CBA as a distinct sector!

☆ “Trash Fish” •Changes in the composition of fish resources : larges, more valuable species toward smaller, lower market value species .
• “Trash Fish” used as feed for aquaculture & CBA. • The amazing amount of landed “Trash Fish” . • Targeting “Trash Fish” aggravating the over-fish problem.

Change the current feeding practice!

Thank you for your attention!


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