The Survey of Procured Marine Resources Sustainability

The Survey of Procured Marine Resources Sustainability (2016)

The Vision Targeted by the Nissui Group

2030: The sustainability of the marine products procured by the Nissui Group will have been confirmed

The world’s marine resources are being depleted and according to a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the stock of only 7% of marine resources of the world was stable, while the stock of 60% had been fully exploited and the stock of 33% had been overexploited.

Trends in the world’s fish stocks

【Illustration】Trends in the world’s fish stocks

For the Nissui Group, which is engaged in businesses that utilize the bounty of the sea, it is essential that it understands the resource status of its procured fish in order to monitor medium- to long-term business risks and opportunities, and to this end it conducted a survey of resources at its Group companies (28 domestic and 16 overseas companies) based on the dealings and results of wild-caught fish for 2016.

Nissui analyzed the resource status of its procured natural marine resources using the following 4 steps based on fish species, catch regions, habitats, and sizes of catch (live weight equivalent).

According to the results of our survey, marine resources procured by the Nissui Group amounted to 1.6% of the global catch. Of those, 88% of fish species were categorized as being no cause for concern, while 37% were approved by marine eco-label certification. Fish species classified as being a cause for concern, which include endangered species, were judged acceptable to use only after confirmation of the presence or absence of resource recovery plans, net or seasonal restrictions, or fisheries management. We did not use such resources if they were clearly not managed or if their status continued to be unclear, nor if we had any doubts that they might be caught through illegal, unreported or unregulated (IUU) fishing or caught using forced labor. The Nissui Group will undertake surveys of actual conditions of procured marine products on a regular basis, aiming to have the items the Nissui Group procures confirmed as sustainable by the year 2030.

Resource Survey Process and Results

【Illustration】Resource survey process and results

“Cod, Alaska pollock and hake,” which are processed into surimi (ground fish) and fried white fish, and “herring and sardines,” which are raw materials of EPA/DHA account for approximately 70% of the wild-caught fish handled by the Nissui Group.

Procured Marine Resources of Nissui Groupe in 2016

【Illustration】Procured Marine Resources of Nissui Groupe in 2016

Status of wild-caught fish resources procured by the Nissui Group (2016)

The total volume of wild-caught fish procured by the Nissui Group is approximately 1.5 million tons (live weight equivalent), which is equivalent to 1.6% of the total wild catch of the world.
Steps 1 through 3 of the above the survey flow revealed that 88% of the wild catch handled by the Nissui Group was “healthy,” of which 37% were marine eco-label certified.

【Illustration】Status of wild-caught fish resources procured by the Nissui Group (2016)

With regard to the fish handled whose resource status was “no information” or “not healthy,” as a result of Steps 1 through 3, and fish classified as an endangered species, Nissui re-investigated and confirmed whether a resource recovery plan by the country’s or region’s fisheries management agency existed, whether any net or seasonal restrictions existed, and whether any fisheries management existed. (Step 4)

As a result, it became evident that 8.8% of the fish species had “no information as to whether fisheries management existed,” mainly with regard to compound feeds. Consequently, Nissui has been making efforts to cooperate with compound feed manufacturers and enhance the traceability of such fish species. Furthermore, with regard to the other fish species classified as “no information,” Nissui will continue to carefully observe their resource status and the IUU fishery policies of the fishing countries, and make recommendations for scientific resource management to each country through SeaBOS (Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship).

Results of Confirmation of Fisheries Management (of “not healthy” and “no information” fish species) in the Re-investigation

【Illustration】Results of confirmation of fisheries management (of Cause for concern and Unclear fish species) in the re-investigation

Handling of “Critically Endangered + Endangered Species”

Fish species classified as “not healthy,” as a result of Steps 1 through 3 include fish species categorized as “Critically Endangered (CR)” and “Endangered (EN)” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), WWF, and the Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
With regard to these fish species, Nissui will carefully observe the resources status of each species and take the following Policy.

(Weight : ton)

Handling Area Red List evaluation Species
(Scientific name)
Weight Evaluation Remarks
Japan CR Southern Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) 114 Not healthy Exist Resource Recovery Plan
EN Sea Cucumber (Apostichopus japonicus 20 Not healthy Exist Resource Control Plan
Denmark CR EEL (Anguilla anguilla 0.4 Not healthy ESF related procurement
EN HALIBUTWHITE (Hippoglossus hippoglossus 9 Not healthy To be reconsidered
EN SKATE (Leucoraja ocellata 115 Not healthy US east coast fisheries regulation applied

 Policy in Japan

(i) Southern Bluefin Tuna
The Commission for the Conservation of Southern Bluefin Tuna (CCSBT) has set the total allowable catch (TAC) and allocations for member countries, based on scientific research. With regard to imports, Nissui complies with the instructions of the Fisheries Agency and will continue to handle Southern Bluefin Tuna.

(ii) Sea Cucumber
Sea cucumbers are under the resources management of each prefecture and given that management measures such as the setting of non-fishing days, restrictions on size, release of seeds and the building of fishing grounds are being taken, Nissui will continue to handle sea cucumbers at current levels. However, should concerns arise for the depletion of resources, Nissui will gradually reduce or suspend their handling.

Policy in Denmark

Nissui will not handle critically endangered and endangered fish species. However, if requested by customers, Nissui will continue to handle those species by confirming their conservation and management status.

Click here to see the detailed result


*The next survey of the resource status of procured marine products is scheduled to take place during 2019.

Continually Conduct Surveys

By continuing surveys on marine resources periodically, conditions surrounding marine resources, which are ever-changing, can be monitored to secure the sustainability of those resources. Further, to meet future market demand, we will work to manage resources in a sustainable manner.
Currently, the second survey, which looks at the period from January to December 2019, is underway, with research and analysis of the conditions surrounding the resources being conducted.

system, 日本水産株式会社 CSR部CSR課, 外部協力者, 日本水産株式会社 広報課