Japan is the leading fish producer and exporter in the world (it accounts for 15% of the world’s total catch)
It is located in the North West Pacific Fishing ground.
Fishing is done around all port cities of Japan but the major fishing ports are Nagoya Nagasaki, Kushiro, Osaka, Yokohama,
Factors favoring fishing in Japan
- Japan has many naturally indented coastlines provides well-sheltered grounds for breeding of fish as well as suitable sites for port construction.
- The rugged and mountainous terrain limits agricultural activities hence fishing is a viable economic activity.
- The shallow and extensive continental shelf allows sunlight to penetrate thus encourages growth of planktons.
- The convergence of warm Kurosiwo and the cold Oyashio ocean currents helps produce ideal breeding grounds for fish/upwelling of ocean water bring planktons to the surface.
- Ready market from the densely populated neighboring Asian countries e.g China and Korea.
- Presence of advanced technology has led to use of powered trawlers, refrigerated vessels fitted with processing plants.
- Long history of fishing and sea going culture of the Japanese people. In Japan, fishing is highly developed and mechanized. The fishermen use radars that locate specific areas with large shoals of fish.
Japanese fishermen use long lines, trawling and seining methods to catch fish.
The fish caught is sold as fresh, canned, dried and frozen.
The fish is consumed locally. The large Japanese population (above 130million) provides ready market for the fish. Others are exported.
Popular fish species caught: –
- In the cooler northern seas – cod, salmon, herring, halibut, allaskan and Pollack.
- In the warmer southern waters – sardines, mackerel and tuna
- Others include crabs, oysters, lobsters and octopuses
Fishing and marketing of fish is done by cooperatives formed by the fishermen. These cooperatives advance loans to the fishermen to improve and expand their fishing activities.
Fish farming is also practiced in fresh water ponds and dams.
The factors that favoring fish farming in Japan include
- Over fished natural fisheries leading to depletion of certain species hence need for fish farms where such species are reared.
- Need to supplement natural supplies to meet increased demand locally and externally.
- Industrial pollution of the sea has rendered seawater unsuitable for fish breeding.
- Availability of capital to establish fish farms.
- Extensive research has enabled fish farmers to successfully rear appropriate fish species.