Tuna sashimi. (Photo: Stock File)
Supply of tuna for sashimi declines by 10 pc
Friday, March 04, 2011, 23:40 (GMT + 9)
Last year, a total of 291,000 tonnes of tuna (excluding albacore tuna) was used to prepare sashimi, which is 10 per cent less than in 2009, according to statistics from the Fisheries Agency of Japan.
According to the agency, pirate attacks against fishing vessels operating in the Indian Ocean and lower coastal production of bluefin and bigeye tuna influenced the reduced supply in the species.
Of the total tuna used, 140,000 tonnes came from Japanese vessels caught at sea and the remaining 151,000 tonnes were shipped from abroad.
Both figures fell by 10 per cent over last year and it this downward trend is expected to continue during the first three months of this year, informed the Fisheries Agency.
The decline in import volumes reflects the diminishing supply of fresh bluefin tuna from Australia.
In this regard, an official from the Fisheries Agency said that local producers have begun to prefer frozen products because they are less expensive. Therefore, it is expected that purchases of fresh tuna will decrease by 20 per cent compared with average volumes of other years.
Moreover, it is likely that tuna imports from Libya and Morocco will fall as a result of the recent unrest in this African region.
During the last quarter of 2010, wholesale prices for frozen tuna rose by just 2 per cent to JPY 1,420 (USD 17) per kilogram. The price of frozen yellowfin tuna was up 11 per cent, while frozen bigeye tuna remained at the same level as in 2009.
The Fisheries Agency projected that prices will rise in the first quarter of 2011.