According to the Japanese Fisheries Agency, the damage caused by the red tides off of Hokkaido this autumn is the greatest on record.
Financial damage to the Hokkaido’ fisheries industry from the massive deaths of sea urchin and autumn salmon from a series of red tides this month, could reach up to 17 billion yen (€130 million), Naomichi Suzuki, Governor of the Japan’s northernmost prefecture, announced at a press conference on Thursday.
The red tide, a proliferation of toxic algae blooms or phytoplankton, is a seasonal phenomenon in western Japan but this is the first year it has afflicted Hokkaido.
Previous estimates had placed the cost of the damage as 7.6 billion yen (€58 million).
The Japanese Atlantic salmon import market is dominated by Norway and Chile, accounting for 90% of the total volume. While Japan relies on imports for the supply of Atlantic salmon, wild pacific salmon remains highly sought after. So-called autumn salmon (akisake) is regarded as a delicacy, both for its high fat and as a source of sujiko ( fresh salmon roe).