Japan’s latest step against illegal seafood


Efforts to recognise and combat IUU fishing look set to advance through a new law

Japan is the world’s third largest seafood importer after the US and the EU, and home to the world’s largest seafood market, Toyosu, in Tokyo. For centuries, seafood has been intricately linked to the country’s culture and cuisine, comprising over 40% of animal protein consumed each year. Over the past century, Japan has also dominated global seafood trade through its fishing fleets and by importing high value fishery products, while Japanese cuisine such as sushi has become increasingly popular across the world. However, Japan’s high seafood import rate – US$15 billion’s worth of products – makes it vulnerable to illegal seafood imports, with lax traceability requirements only compounding the problem so far, according to Wakao Hanaoka, CEO of Tokyo-based consultancy firm Seafood Legacy.

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