Tuna farming cages in Japan. (Photo: Kinki University)
Toyota Tsusho collaborates on bluefin tuna business
Wednesday, September 22, 2010, 01:40 (GMT + 9)
Toyota Tsusho Corporation and Kinki University have agreed to collaborate on a complete bluefin tuna culture business that will supply juveniles to fish farmers. Also, Toyota Tsusho has established a company for the intermediate breeding of larva for a complete culture - the first of its kind - called KK Tuna Dream Goto.
Tuna Dream holds an open-sea fish preserve for intermediate breeding off Goto City’s Fukue Island in Nagasaki Prefecture, where fully cultured tuna will be artificially hatched and raised with the help of Kinki University to reach a size equivalent to wild young tuna.
Tuna Dream and Kinki University’s cooperative work entails artificially hatched larvae of bluefin tuna provided by the university for a complete culture at the company, and instructions given at the firm’s location on a variety of technical issues for the intermediate rearing of the larvae.
After nurturing the fish, Toyota Tsusho intends to ship the juveniles to domestic tuna farmers. The firm can raise about 10,000 juveniles at its initial capacity, Japan Times reports.
Kinki University set up a Fisheries Laboratory in 1948 for research into bluefin tuna aquaculture beginning in 1970. The university began by placing juvenile fish captured in the wild into a net fish preserve for fattening.
In 1979, the laboratory was able to successfully artificially hatch and raise fish from eggs laid by a parent fish, which were raised in captivity from juveniles captured in the wild. Then, in 2002, an artificially nurtured parent fish laid eggs, which achieve a complete cycle of culture for the first time anywhere.
In 2007, about 1,500 artificially hatched juveniles were transported to aquafarmers in Japan. This production leapt to 40,000 last year and hit industrial scale larvae production.
But myriad facilities are necessary, including large scale fish preserves, to raise young fish of a shipping size (with a body length of 25-30 cm) from artificial hatching and nurturing. So the university can keep on growing its volume of production into the future, it said it was necessary to collaborate with external groups with fishing grounds and plants to facilitate "intermediate breeding," which allows for juveniles to turn into young fish.
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By Natalia Real