First Longline Blue Shark and Swordfish Fishery Improvement Project (FIP) in Japan Launched

Kesennuma represents the largest catch of fresh swordfish in Japan. In 2019, 73% (2,221 Mt) of the total catch in Japan (3,033 Mt) * was landed in Kesennuma. It’s also known as the largest place of production of blue shark whose meat is used for surimi. Twelve vessels of offshore longline tuna fleet landing their catch at Kesennuma port will participate in this FIP. And they operate year-round in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, catching 1,323 tonnes of swordfish and 3,706 tonnes of blue sharks (2019).

According to the stock assessment conducted by “The International Scientific Committee for Tuna and Tuna-Like Species”, the main target species for the fishery, swordfish and blue sharks in the northwestern Pacific are neither overfished nor overfishing. However, many countries have been making an effort for the conservation, sustainability and transparency of the resources of shark, which are the cooperative’s main catch target.

In order to demonstrate that their fishery’s sustainability, and accordingly, to stabilize the fishery business and to contribute to the global sustainable fishery, the cooperative has decided to start FIP aiming for MSC certification in 2026.

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