Japanese author Ayumu Katano, winner of the 2015 SeaWeb Seafood Champion Award for Advocacy, continues his campaign to inform Japanese decision makers and the public with the publication of “The Real Reason for Japan’s Fisheries Collapse” (Wedge Publications, 2016).
The book discusses Japan’s overfishing and the need for an appropriate Individual Quota (IQ) and Individual Transferrable Quota (ITQ) system. In addition to presenting examples from successful and sustainable fisheries around the world, Mr. Katano offers strategies for achieving this goal in Japan, focusing on concrete steps that both the government and consuming public can take.
“I wrote this book because I feel that it’s critical for someone who understands the facts and possible solutions to communicate that information,” says Mr. Katano. “It’s my hope that if many people read this book, their awareness of the issues will lead to positive change in the sustainability of Japanese fisheries.”
Marine fisheries are fundamental to the Japanese identity, culture, and economy. In addition to being one of the top seafood consuming nations, Japan has a large domestic fishing industry that employs approximately 170,000 people. With management practices such as TAC and MSY being communicated in a negatively light, fish stocks are diminishing yearly, and landings in 2015 were the lowest in 50 years. As a result, fishermen are forced to catch any fish they can find including high volumes of small, low-value fish. Meanwhile, the Japanese are not exposed to information about sustainability, and are even told that Japanese fisheries management is globally admired.
Mr. Katano’s hope is that getting accurate information out will lead to reforms critical to saving the Japanese fishing industry. This is Mr. Katano’s third book on the subject, and includes updates on the issues he raised in his previous two books.
Mr. Katano began his campaign for sustainability after learning about the success of fisheries management in the U.S. and Europe while attending international conferences. Concerned that the Japanese public and lawmakers were unaware of these successes and the lessons they held for Japan, he began speaking out. In 2012 Mr. Katano published “It is Possible to Restore the Seafood Industry!” and followed this in 2013 with “Where Have the Fish Gone?” Both of these books have been quoted in Japanese newspapers and other media. He is regularly asked by lawmakers, universities, the media and others to give presentations on the state of Japanese fisheries.
In 2015, Mr. Katano’s Seafood Champion Award attracted considerable interest from the Japanese media and public, and in his new book, Mr. Katano features his Seafood Champion Award prominently on the book’s dust cover and acknowledgements.