What Are the Most Commonly Eaten Fish in Japan?

tlwdotcom-The Land World
4 min readJan 21, 2021


Marine fishing has always been the leading industry in Japan’s fisheries. Despite continuous reductions in production, more than 80% of the output is still derived from marine fishing. Japan is surrounded by the sea and consists of more than 6000 islands. With an area of 380,000 square kilometers, it ranks 61st in the world, while its exclusive economic water area ranks 6th in the world.

Most Commonly Eaten Fish in Japan

1、Salmon. Sashimi is one of the most distinctive dishes in Japan, but the salmon caught in Japan is processed and cooked. The salmon native to Japan is the migratory Pacific salmon. Although they live in the sea most of the time, they are caught ashore in the river. As soon as salmon enters fresh water, parasites increase. Therefore, the Japanese did not make native salmon into sashimi! After the 1980s, Norway began to export artificially raised parasite-free salmon to Japan. Salmon only became popular in Japan for raw food. The salmon that the Japanese eat today is not domestically produced. They are all farmed Atlantic salmon imported from the Atlantic coast countries such as Norway and Chile.

2、Japanese mackerel. Although the Japanese have been eating mackerel for a long time, for the Japanese who are looking for freshness, it is difficult for Japanese mackerel to keep fresh, and it will go bad when it comes out of the water and have a strong fishy taste, thus it is mostly eaten in dry form.

3、Saury. Saury is fresh and tender, with few bones and high nutritional value, and contains a variety of nutrients. The production of saury in Japan is very high, and it is a kind of cheap fish, so it is more popular.

4、Tuna. Tuna is an indispensable ingredient for making sushi and sashimi. Because the meat is tender and nutritious, it is a popular food in sushi restaurants.

5、Eel. In Japan, eel, sushi, and tempura are called “the taste of Edo”. The importance of eels can be seen from the local consumption of eels. In 2000, the Japanese ate 70% of the world’s eel production, and they are still the world’s largest eel consumer.

6、Snapper. Snapper is a good fish loved by Japanese people since ancient times, and people started to eat it, either grilled or boiled, as early as the Jomon and Yayoi periods. The image of Ebisu, one of the seven gods of good fortune, is holding a fishing rod in his right hand and holding a big snapper in his left hand. Japanese people eat snapper for New Year, for wedding, for baby’s first birthday… Therefore, snapper is not only a food but also a cultural symbol in Japan.

Reasons for the developed Japanese fishery

  1. The convergence of cold and warm currents in the sea near Hokkaido can cause disturbance of seawater, and the upwelling of seawater brings nutrient salts to the surface of the ocean, making plankton flourish, which in turn provides rich bait for fish and abundant fishery resources. Therefore, the world’s largest fishing ground — — Hokkaido fishing ground is formed.
  2. Japan is an island country, surrounded by the sea. In addition to offshore fishing, Japan has also developed artificial aquaculture along the coast. Developed shipbuilding industry, Japan has a strong fleet of ocean-going vessels to ocean fishing, Japan’s annual fishing volume in the world ranked first. Fish plays an important role in the food of Japanese people.

3, Japan has limited arable land, high population density, marine aquatic products account for a large proportion of the food structure, and the market demand for fish products is large.

With the increasing salvage, Japan’s fishery resources are close to depletion and it is impossible to increase the amount of natural resources caught, and with the growing aging, Japan’s 2019 is the smallest year ever for the newborn population. In this situation, how to use AI for aquaculture has to be on the agenda. Japan, a major consumer of fisheries, has already tried to use AI to analyze ocean conditions that humans cannot understand.

1、Machine learning: Scientific prediction of fishing in unknown waters based on existing fishing laws at sea. At present, the main data based on many factors including water temperature, successful fishing species, catch, tidal data, weather data, date and so on. They will provide the knowledge of experienced fishermen to new fishermen or after data.

  1. Big data technology: The supplier assists customers to place a large number of monitoring sensors on the farming site. By collecting, uploading, aggregating and analyzing data, AI is allowed to make yield prediction, cost analysis of feed and disease disaster prediction. We provide digital analysis to advise farmers to make more informed farming judgments.
  2. Robotics: Robotics is a new interdisciplinary technology formed by integrating several disciplines such as computers, artificial intelligence and bionics. In the field of fishery, robotics, as an alternative to human labor, has a significant role in reducing labor costs and improving production efficiency.
  3. Feature monitoring: As a concept in computer vision and image processing, feature detection zoned image points for analysis. In the fisheries industry, feature detection aids computer vision to make it more discriminative of aquatic organisms and fish information for better and accurate fishing and farming results.

Originally published at https://www.tlw.com.