The world’s marine resources are being depleted and according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the stock of only 7% of marine resources of the world was stable, while the stock of 60% had been fully exploited and the stock of 33% had been overexploited.
For the Nissui Group, which is engaged in businesses that utilize the bounty of the sea, it is essential that it understands the resource status of its procured fish in order to monitor medium- to long-term business risks and opportunities, and to this end it conducted a survey of resources at its Group companies (28 domestic and 16 overseas companies) based on the dealings and results of wild-caught fish for 2016.
Nissui analyzed the resource status of its procured natural marine resources using the following 4 steps based on fish species, catch regions, habitats, and sizes of catch (live weight equivalent).
“Cod, Alaska pollock and hake,” which are processed into surimi (ground fish) and fried white fish, and “herring and sardines,” which are raw materials of EPA/DHA account for approximately 70% of the wild-caught fish handled by the Nissui Group.
The total volume of wild-caught fish procured by the Nissui Group is approximately 1.5 million tons (live weight equivalent), which is equivalent to 1.6% of the total wild catch of the world.
Steps 1 through 3 of the above the survey flow revealed that 88% of the wild catch handled by the Nissui Group was “healthy,” of which 37% were marine eco-label certified.
With regard to the fish handled whose resource status was “no information” or “not healthy,” as a result of Steps 1 through 3, and fish classified as an endangered species, Nissui re-investigated and confirmed whether a resource recovery plan by the country’s or region’s fisheries management agency existed, whether any net or seasonal restrictions existed, and whether any fisheries management existed. (Step 4)
As a result, it became evident that 8.8% of the fish species had “no information as to whether fisheries management existed,” mainly with regard to compound feeds. Consequently, Nissui has been making efforts to cooperate with compound feed manufacturers and enhance the traceability of such fish species. Furthermore, with regard to the other fish species classified as “no information,” Nissui will continue to carefully observe their resource status and the IUU fishery policies of the fishing countries, and make recommendations for scientific resource management to each country through SeaBOS (Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship).
Fish species classified as “not healthy,” as a result of Steps 1 through 3 include fish species categorized as “Critically Endangered (CR)” and “Endangered (EN)” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WWF, and the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
With regard to these fish species, Nissui will carefully observe the resources status of each species and take the following Policy.
(Weight : ton)
|Handling Area||Red List evaluation||Species
|Japan||CR||Southern Bluefin Tuna （Thunnus maccoyii)||114||Not healthy||Exist Resource Recovery Plan|
|EN||Sea Cucumber （Apostichopus japonicus）||20||Not healthy||Exist Resource Control Plan|
|Denmark||CR||EEL （Anguilla anguilla）||0.4||Not healthy||ESF related procurement|
|EN||HALIBUTWHITE （Hippoglossus hippoglossus）||9||Not healthy||To be reconsidered|
|EN||SKATE （Leucoraja ocellata）||115||Not healthy||US east coast fisheries regulation applied|
(i) Southern Bluefin Tuna
The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) has set the total allowable catch (TAC) and allocations for member countries, based on scientific research. With regard to imports, Nissui complies with the instructions of the Fisheries Agency and will continue to handle Southern Bluefin Tuna.
(ii) Sea Cucumber
Sea cucumbers are under the resources management of each prefecture and given that management measures such as the setting of non-fishing days, restrictions on size, release of seeds and the building of fishing grounds are being taken, Nissui will continue to handle sea cucumbers at current levels. However, should concerns arise for the depletion of resources, Nissui will gradually reduce or suspend their handling.
Nissui will not handle critically endangered and endangered fish species. However, if requested by customers, Nissui will continue to handle those species by confirming their conservation and management status.
＊The next survey of the resource status of procured marine products is scheduled to take place during 2019.
By continuing surveys on marine resources periodically, conditions surrounding marine resources, which are ever-changing, can be monitored to secure the sustainability of those resources. Further, to meet future market demand, we will work to manage resources in a sustainable manner.
Currently, the second survey, which looks at the period from January to December 2019, is underway, with research and analysis of the conditions surrounding the resources being conducted.