Press Release

June 25 , 2013

Incorporated Administrative Agency, Fisheries Research Agency

The population sizes of the Pacific stocks of Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanostictus) and chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) are continuously increasing

The Pacific stocks of Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanostictus) and chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus) were large in the 1970s and 1980s and these fishes were caught at that time in huge amounts in the Doto area. However, in the 1990s and 2000s, the stocks have declined and the migration area has shrunk and, as a result, the fishing ground has been limited from the sea area off Joban to south of Sanriku.

Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) has been conducting stock assessment on Japanese sardine and chub mackerel based on fisheries information and investigations in the offshore using research vessels every year.

In 2011, we presented the survival rate of Pacific stock of Japanese sardine was high in the year class of 2010, and there was a strong possibility (although depending on the future marine environment) that the adult fish population would increase, which would then lead to the “restoration of Japanese sardine.” In 2012, we also presented the increase of adult fish population and recruitment of Japanese sardine, and that the increasing trend was being continued.

Furthermore, the Pacific stock of chub mackerel also increased and the migration area has expanded. As a result, a certain amount of Japanese sardine and chub mackerel was caught in Doto fishing ground in the autumn of 2012, after an 18-year interval for the Japanese sardine and a 34-year interval for the chub mackerel.

Our latest investigation also indicates that the increase trend in the Pacific stocks of Japanese sardine and chub mackerel have continued to date. In addition, though migrating populations to north off Sanriku have been recognized during our research cruise in this spring, it is expected that the population will migrate to the Doto area and fishing grounds will formed in autumn of this year.

We will continue the investigation and will promptly present the results.



Japanese sardine (Sardinops melanostictus)

Chub mackerel (Scomber japonicus)