Land-based fish farming to be covered by insurance

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Threadsail filefish are farmed in an experiment that auto parts maker NGK Spark Plug Co. began in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture.

Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co. plans to sell an insurance policy for operators of land-based fish farming in Japan, starting in January next year.

The insurance policy will cover losses and assist the business if fish cannot be shipped out. Tokio Marine & Nichido said that it will be the first such attempt in the nation.

Land-based fish farming involves raising fish in above-ground tanks in which freshwater or seawater is circulated.

Salmon, tiger puffer and shrimp have been farmed on land in this way.

Compared with farming in the sea, damage from natural phenomenon such as red tides and typhoons can be minimized, and thus farmers can expect stable production.

Technology to control farming processes with IT have also progressed. In recent years, an increasing number of companies from other sectors have entered the industry.

The insurance policy for land-based fish farming will cover losses in such events as the fish becoming unable to be shipped due to infectious diseases, contamination of the water or changes in water temperature.

Losses in sea cultivation, which has been the primary form of fish farming in Japan, have been covered jointly by fisheries cooperatives through mutual aid schemes.

Until now, insurance policies for land-based fish farming have covered only damage to hardware as fire insurance, and thus there has not been a policy that covers loss of the fish themselves.

In Japan, an increasing number of major companies have been entering the land-based fish farming business.

Kyushu Electric Power Co. plans to build a salmon-farming facility inside the precincts of its Buzen electric power plant in Fukuoka Prefecture. The company will launch the business together with fish farmers in the next fiscal year at the earliest.

Mitsui & Co. has also invested in a start-up which operates fish farms in Saitama and Chiba prefectures.