Ukraine war keeps Japanese fishers from regular saury haul

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Saury are seen being unloaded at Hanasaki Port in Nemuro, Hokkaido, on Friday.

NEMURO, Hokkaido — Hauls of saury have begun to arrive at Hanasaki Port in Nemuro, Hokkaido, which has boasted Japan’s largest saury landings for 12 consecutive years.

This year, though, saury fishing has been severely limited due to tensions with Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Japanese vessels are unable to fish around Japan’s northern territories or the Kuril Islands, which are usually the main fishing grounds.

In Friday’s first landing of the season, eight large fishing boats of over 100 tons each landed about 60 total tons, but this was less than the 83.3 tons hauled in on the first day of the season a year before.

According to the National Saury Fishery Association, no permits have been issued by Russia for fishing in the waters around the northern territories and other areas, so fishermen are operating only on the high seas. A total of 113 vessels are participating in the catch this year.