OUIK > Events > Collaborative research > Noto > 2020 Noto Satoumi Seminar #3: Attaining SDG14 through the preservation of satoumi –  Sustainable management of fishery resources


2020 Noto Satoumi Seminar #3: Attaining SDG14 through the preservation of satoumi –  Sustainable management of fishery resources

日時 / Date : 2021/1/28
場所 / Place : オンライン

Learning about the universal goal: SDG14

Research Associate Evonne Yiu from UNU-IAS OUIK gave a lecture on SGD Target 14.4: Sustainable fishing, and Target 14.4: End subsidies contributing to overfishing.

The two targets were agreed upon to introduce sustainable systems for confronting the tense situation of fishery resources. It is important to create sustainable management mechanisms for fishery resources that are unique to Japan.

94% of global fishery resources are either overfished or used to their maximum; only 6% of them still have room for use.

As for the global output of capture fishery and farming fishery, since the 1990s the former has remained at the same level and the latter has been increasing. The consumption of fishery resources has increased annually at a faster pace compared to the increase in population.

When we think about fishery resource management, we tend to consider mainly resource preservation and management in the sea; however, fishing and sales methods are also important for the preservation and sustainable use of fishery resources. Furthermore, consumers are required to consume fishery resources in a sustainable manner. All these factors constitute a cycle, thus enabling the sustainable management of fishery resources.


Considering the present and future of fishery resources from a researcher’s perspective

Next, Nobuyuki Yagi, Professor of the Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, University of Tokyo, gave the keynote lecture titled “Sustainable Management of Fishery Resources in Japan and Overseas”.

Fish consumption in Japan has decreased 20% this decade. Distribution channels and supermarkets are keen to improve business efficiency by restricting the products they deal with. Therefore, brokers will not buy unpopular fish, and fishermen will not catch them either. Also, the numbers of fishermen and fishery resources are decreasing. We are sometimes told that fishery resources are decreasing due to overfishing; however, it is not necessarily true.

In Japan, the output of natural fishery resources has decreased significantly since the peak in the 1990s. The global output of natural fishery resources has also been decreasing. However, there are some countries where farming outputs are increasing, such as Korea and Italy. Norway is one of the few countries that are attempting to increase farming fishery outputs; its farming output is increasing, although its output of natural resources is decreasing gradually due to fishery resource management and a decrease in catch volume.

In Japan fishery output has decreased for thirty years partly due to the special circumstance of decreased consumption. However, the volume of fishery resources has not been restored yet. There are some that believe we should decrease our fishing output further for some kinds of fish only. It is assumed that other than overfishing, global warming and the reclaiming of land might also be reasons for the decrease in fishery resources. There is also a report that the decrease in fishery resources was caused by a decrease of zooplankton, fish’s food, due to neonicotinoid insecticide.

In many countries, catch landing is conducted manually, and female workers are participating too. In contrast, big ships and machines are used in Norway, and there are few workers engaged in the work. Following thorough contemplation of the essence of human happiness, we must draw conclusions regarding the questions of “maintenance of employment or improvement of economic efficiency?” and “preservation of the environment or improvement of economic efficiency?”


What distributors and processors can do to connect producers and consumers

Subsequently, Tatsuyuki Tamaru, Vice Manager of the Sales Strategy Department, Ishikawa Chuo Uoichi Corporation, gave a report on their activities.

Various fish are caught in Ishikawa according to the season. However, consumers will not buy them simply because they are tasty. They prefer processed fish, and supermarkets and drug stores will not buy unprocessed fish from us, either.

We started to buy fresh seafood caught in the early morning at fishing ports in Ishikawa, and sell it at the second auction, called the “morning auction”, which follows the early-morning auction. The project was started in collaboration with JF Ishikawa in 2008. Also, we are making use of the seafood labelling system, which attaches labels to fishery products that have been caught or farmed with consideration for the ecosystem or resource sustainability. In Japan, Marine Ecolabel Japan (MEL Japan) conducts the accreditation of organisations (for both natural and farmed seafood). About 20 fishermen and seafood farming organisations that ship to us have acquired MEL accreditation.


Sustainable traditional fishery and future fishery

Yosuke Nakada, fishermen’s boss of the fixed net fishery company Hinode Oshiki in Noto Town, and research associate Evonne Yiu from UNU-IAS OUIK gave an activity report on traditional fixed net fishery in Noto Town.

Mr. Nakada visits local schools to teach the value, richness and attraction of the sea to children.

Mr. Nakada: “Firstly, I would like to talk about fishery through my experiences so that children can understand and love fishery. Then, if they want to become fishermen, I can tell them about our work. I think this activity is just like sowing seeds for future fishery, and I value it very much.”

Evonne asked Mr. Nakada if there was anything he felt while he was watching the sea every day. Mr. Nakada answered, “compared to the days when my grandfather was fishing, the time the fish come is gradually becoming later. I am not sure if it is caused by global warming; however, the change in water temperature is occurring later, to be sure, which might be delaying the time the fish come. Also, in my opinion fishery resources are decreasing or, perhaps I should say, the fish are not approaching the coastlines.”

Next, three panelists and Evonne as the moderator had a panel discussion on the reasons for the decrease in aquatic resources and the development of eco label accreditation systems.

Lastly, Tsunao Watanabe, Director of UNU-IAS OUIK, concluded the seminar, saying, “we were able to hear important perspectives regarding what we can do and what we should do in order to preserve our abundant fishery resources. We should remember that every 14th of the month is “the day for eating sustainable fish” while thinking of satoumi together with everyone.”

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