This study examines the economic outcome of a change in the distribution system of fresh seafood in Japan. In particular, it analyzes the seafood distribution in the area of Itoshima, a peninsula located between Fukuoka and Nagasaki.
Traditionally, the distribution of fresh seafood in Japan has been organized by the local fishery cooperatives (JF). In this model, the fishermen sell their catch to JF which is responsible for the entire sales process and economic results. However, the clear division of responsibilities has not yielded any economies of specialization for the fishermen whose income tend to decline.
To improve their income situation, fishermen and JF Itoshima have implemented a new distribution system based on self-organization. Fishermen are responsible for the entire sales process. They make entrepreneurial decisions about prices and product. JF provides the platform, a Direct Sales Store. So far, the project has been an economic success; the fishermen’s income has significantly improved.
However, the existence of two competing Direct Sales Stores in Itoshima has also led to structural distribution problems. The majority of the fishermen sells through the “Shima no Shiki” store which emphasizes quality. But the amount of unsold goods puts a strain on performance. To avoid this issue, a minority of fishermen sells through the “Ito sai sai” store instead, which focuses on volume and low prices. This frequently causes supply shortages at “Shima no shiki” and is also detrimental to the premium positioning of Itoshima’s fishery industry.
This study discusses the distribution problem and ways to overcome it.
The present situation and the problems on the extermination of introduced non-native fish by fishermen in the Lake Biwa are examined through the documentary materials and interviews with the Fisheries Department of Shiga prefecture, the Shiga Prefecture Federation of Fishermen’s Co-operative Association, the Moriyama Fisheries Cooperative, and the Okishima Fisheries Cooperative. It is shown that fishermen exterminate introduced non-native fishes efficiently through the comparison among extermination projects of introduced non-native fishes and the analysis of the seasonal variation of the extermination catch by fishermen. Fishermen feel indebted to work with governmental subsidies, have pride to conduct their native fisheries, and feel uneasy for fishery management due to the decrease of native fishery production. Several fishermen in the Moriyama Fisheries Cooperative and the Okishima Fisheries Cooperative derive more than half of the fishery income from introduced non-native fishing, and they have to depend on introduced non-native fishing because of their decreased strength. Although having negative thought against the extermination of introduced non-native fish leads a secondary influence, it can be one of the factors to inhibit aggressive participation in increasing effort of introduced non-native fishing. It is necessary to develop a system for the extermination in consideration of the fishermen’s consciousness.
Satoumi concept, which was proposed by Prof. Yanagi in 1998, has been highlighted as an alternative for an integrated coastal zone management not only in Japan but also internationally. Satoumi is defined as the coastal sea with high bio-diversity and bioproduction under the moderate human interaction. This concept surely provides new discipline for fisheries and aquaculture industries. To achieve this concept as a real, adequate management system is needed in order to control human interaction. Through literatures and precedent activities, we could clarify the viewpoint and framework for case-study, and then set up the hypothesis for Satoumi as a new concept of coastal zone management by preliminary analyzing.
In recent years, more strict management measures led to the reduction in the catch of frozen tuna. Moreover, the increased demand for sashimi from other countries decrease the volume of imports of fresh tuna to the Japanese markets. Therefore, fresh tuna supplied from domestic vessels in Japan’s EEZ is becoming more significant in the Japanese tuna markets than before. However, the distribution structure for the fresh tuna supplied by the domestic vessels was not so clear in previous researches. This study aimed at i) identifying the distribution structure for fresh tuna at production wholesale markets and ii) identify the key factors in the modern distribution structure of fresh tuna and iii) discussing about the ideal distribution structure of fresh tuna in the future. The fresh yellowfin tuna were chosen as the representative specie for tuna for this study. Three of the major production-site wholesale markets in Japan were chosen for this study were Katsu-ura, Aburatsu and Kagoshima Wholesale Market.
The main finding of this research is that one of the key factors for the ideal form of distribution structure of fresh yellowfin tuna is the processing function. Including the processing function in the fresh yellowfin tuna distribution structure creates a more modern distribution model which enables the direct distribution from production sites to consuming areas, especially to supermarkets. In the future, the supermarket’s influence will increase, thus their demand for processed fresh yellowfin tuna will also increase.
Due to the fast deterioration rate of processed fresh tuna products, production-site with processing facilities has to be within the vicinity of the consuming areas. This research also found that the processing facilities should be located near the consuming areas. PWMs in remote areas, on the other hand, should consider incorporating a processing function into their fresh tuna distribution structure with processing companies in consuming area.
Okinawa prefecture was lead the fishing of skipjack tuna in Japan. But, skipjack tuna fishing is hang by a thread in recent years. However, in Yonaguni-island, westernmost in Japan, skipjack-fishing revived as industry, and starts some social economic changes now. In this thesis, I reported the some changes of Yonaguni-island society, and make mention of possibility of fishing area study by skipjack-fishing study of Yonaguni-island.
In past time, Yonaguni-island was leading area of skipjack-fishing in Yaeyama islands area. Skipjack-fishing has changed the economic position. These changes have some impacts, for example, new strategy of fishermen, new income way, and distribution in the community, for the Yonaguni-island society.
This research will suggest the analysis of cultural position of fishing multi-function theory.