Sanma fish shortage, "Even in international waters" - 1,200 yen per fish at storefronts!

The first auction of the year for sanma fish (Pacific saury) was held on the morning of August 24 at Akkeshi Market in the eastern Hokkaido town of Akkeshi. The auction was for sanma that was harvested through the main eastern Hokkaido offshore sanma catching style of stick-held dip net fishing.

The total haul was approximately a mere 900 kilograms for the four mid-sized ships combined, and the kilogram unit price was a high value of 11,880 yen, 4.7 times higher than that of last year. Retail shops in Akkeshi immediately lined up their sanma fish selections, with prices ranging as high as 1,200 yen per 1 whole fish. The previous fears of a harsh fishing shortage became reality, and alarm is spreading amidst people in the seafood industry.
The four mid-sized ships that set out from the Port of Akkeshi on August 15 journeyed to international North Pacific Ocean waters some 1,500 kilometers away in order to catch sanma, and then returned to the Port. One of the head fishermen sighed, saying, “I expected a certain amount of shortage, but I did not think it would be this bad.”

Sanma lined up at a direct-sales market. The highest price was 1,200 yen per whole fish.
Sanma being weighed before the auction


Akkeshi Market