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Fully farmed Japanese tuna set to make its way to Europe

Maruha Nichiro targets eco-conscious eaters, anticipating boost from trade deal

A Maruha Nichiro aquaculture facility in Oita Prefecture, Japan.

TOKYO -- Japanese seafood company Maruha Nichiro will export fully farmed tuna to Europe, taking advantage of a recent economic partnership agreement scrapping most substantial tariffs.

Maruha Nichiro, the nation's largest producer of fully farmed tuna, has received approval to ship fresh fish to Europe from an aquaculture facility and processing plant in Oita Prefecture. The seafood will be sold through a Netherlands-based subsidiary to such customers as Japanese restaurants.

The company aims to sell more than 10 tons of fully farmed tuna to Europe in fiscal 2019.

Growing concern about overfishing has sparked interest among European consumers in fully farmed seafood. Unlike conventionally farmed tuna, which are caught in the wild as juveniles and raised to maturity, fully farmed tuna are hatched from farm-raised fish.

The Japan-European Union economic partnership agreement took effect in February. Maruha Nichiro anticipates that offering fully farmed fish at an affordable price will help drive demand.

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