Fig. 14.7 Mean landing prices at the Kushiro Fish Market for all three species, Alaska pollock, mackerel, and sardine (a), and breakdowns of landing to different utilization categories for each species (b -d), 1964-87.

pollock has also been downward as its supply gradually increased; 56 yen in 1987, down from 79 yen/kg in 1980 (Fig. 14.7).

Thus, Kushiro has become a city which depends on large amounts of low-value sardine and Alaska pollock for its economic well-being. There are many fish processing and reduction plants in Kushiro, and many people work in these plants. Not only are facilities directly related to fisheries dependent on large-quantity fish landings but so also are many ancillary industries, such as transportation.

People worried that the economy of Kushiro would decline as a result of the possible (even likely) decrease in landings of Alaska pollock caused by the regulation of Japanese fishing in the 200-

mile zones of the US and the USSR. As shown in Fig. 14.7, when landings of Alaska pollock decreased in 1977, landings of sardine began to increase as if they were replacing Alaska pollock. In this regard, one would argue that the economy of Kushiro was saved by the sardine.

Diverse use of sardine landings from different ports

Although almost all sardine landings at Kushiro have been reduced to "fish oil and fish meal" in recent years, sardine landings from other ports were put to different uses. Figure 14.8 shows utilization categories of sardine landings from five major ports (see geographic locations in Fig. 14.4). In Hachinohe, located on the Pacific Ocean side of northern Honshu, a small proportion of the sardine landings are "frozen." The proportion of the landings in the "frozen" category is about 40 percent in Ishinomaki, located south of Hachinohe; it is about 70 percent in Choshi to the south of Ishinomaki; and it is about 30 percent in Sakai. These differences stem from the fact that along the Pacific coast of southern Japan and in the Seto Inland Sea, young yellowtail called hamachi are widely cultured. Hamachi are fed with defrosted "fresh feed" such as sandeel, saury, mackerel, and sardine. Needless to say, a stable supply of a low-value feed is indispensable to fish culture; sardine presently meets these conditions. Thus, a larger proportion of sardine landings is frozen as feed for hamachi at southern ports than is the case at the northern ports.

Dependence of hamachi culture on sardine production

Hamachi culture in Japan began in 1962. Its production had risen steeply until it reached about 160,000 mt in 1979, after which it remained almost unchanged (Fig. 14.9). This figure also shows trends in the amount of fresh feed for hamachi culture and trends in the production of frozen sardine. In 1973 frozen sardine made up 20 percent of fresh feed; this proportion rose to 77 percent by 1987, indicating that hamachi culture has become primarily dependent on the sardine.

A< Frozen B' Packed C Reduced D: Transported Outside E= Other Use













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225 O 2


0 20 40 60 80 100 PERCENT

Fig. 14.8 Percentages of utilization categories for sardine landings at major fish markets in 1987.


Fig. 14.9 (a) Amount of fresh feed for hamachi culture and production of frozen sardine, 1966-87, and (b) production of cultured hamachi, 1961-87.

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