Tuna has become a
focus of worldwide attention in recent years and concern
over the future supply of tuna is widely voiced in Japan.
In fact, at a meeting of the Commission for the Conservation
of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) held in October 2007,
the decision was made to decrease Japan's annual catch
quota from 6,065 tons in 2006 to 3,000 tons for the
next five years. In January 2007, the first joint meeting
of the world's five regional tuna management organizations
and concerned parties was held in Kobe. The meeting
was initiated by the Fisheries Agency of Japan, reflecting
Japan's role as a traditional tuna fishing country and
the world's largest consumer, with the aim of restocking
tuna natural resources and sustaining tuna fisheries.
On January 31, the International Commission for the
Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) decided to gradually
reduce the total allowable catch to 25,500 tons by the
year 2010, which would be 6,500 tons (23%) less than
is currently permitted. With this, Japan's quota of
2,830 tons for 2006 was reduced to 2,515 tons for 2007
and will be gradually lowered to 2,174 tons, a 23.2%
decrease, in 2010. As can be seen, the movement toward
stronger control over tuna fishing is progressing.
Due to these circumstances, our project, the Center of Aquaculture Science and Technology for Bluefin Tuna and Other Cultivated Fish, was selected as a 21st Century COE Program in fiscal year 2003. The goal of this project is to develop sophisticated farming technologies for useful fish species with the main focus on bluefin tuna, and to enlarge and promote the development of the fish farming industry on a global scale. In order to achieve this goal, we have been dedicating our efforts to the establishment of a first-class research and education center in order to nurture capable human resources and disseminate information.
Fish aquaculture studies have traditionally focused on maturity, spawning, initial growth, nutrition, feeds, breeding, fish diseases, etc., and have been successful in developing promising culture techniques and farming environment maintenance 3 techniques. However, full-fledged studies focusing on the series of processes from the inspection and management of produced fish to distribution, and to their economic impacts, have not yet been carried out. Our research center places high emphasis on research that incorporates the whole process from production to distribution and consumption of the farmed fish.
We are pleased to announce the release of a report prepared by the distribution and economics group led by Professor Seiichiro Ono, who has conducted an economic analysis of farmed tuna based on food system theory. It is our pleasure to dedicate this report to the future development of tuna farming industry research.
Prof. Dr Hidemi KUMAI
Leader of the 21st Century COE Program
'Center of Aquaculture Science and Technology
for Bluefin Tuna and Other Cultivated Fish'