Japan’s Top Bonito Port Gets 1st Catch of Season

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Freshly caught bonitos are sorted upon their landing at Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on Monday.

KESENNUMA, Miyagi — The season’s first bonito catch was landed at Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, on Monday.

Kesennuma Port has boasted the largest annual volume of bonitos landed in the nation for 26 years running.

The landing on Monday was made by the Hiyoshi Maru, a 306-ton fishing boat registered in Yaizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. Using a round haul net, the boat caught 1.6 tons of bonitos off Oarai, Ibaraki Prefecture. Around 5 a.m., the bonitos moved along conveyor belts at Kesennuma Port for sorting.

Most of the bonitos landed Monday were small at about 2 kilograms each. The average price per kilogram was ¥910, with the maximum price at ¥1,560 per kilogram.

Even though the port recorded the nation’s largest bonito landing last year, the amount was about a quarter of that from the previous year.

“We didn’t have a big catch today,” said the 62-year-old captain of the Hiyoshi Maru. “I’m placing high hopes on future catches.”