TOKYO -- Japanese fisheries companies are developing full-cycle aquaculture technology, in hopes of offering a stable supply of fish to meet growing global demand for fisheries products.
Nippon Suisan Kaisha, also known as Nissui, announced on June 8 that it had in April succeeded in hatching eggs of fully farmed octopus at its Oita Marine Biological Technology Center in Saeki, Oita Prefecture, in western Japan.
The seafood company confirmed the hatching of about 140,000 eggs produced by octopus conceived by artificial incubation. Nissui will check the growing conditions, hoping to ship fully farmed octopus to retailers and restaurants across Japan as early as 2020.
Full-cycle aquaculture refers to artificial incubation of eggs produced by marine animals that were themselves conceived by artificial incubation. There has been no full-cycle aquaculture technology for octopus, as they have a low survival rate of about 30 days after being hatched. Nissui has identified aquatic organisms that are food suitable for growing octopus, and is using them to build the full-cycle aquaculture technology.
Maruha Nichiro will next spring spend about 500 million yen ($4.55 million) to build a new hatchery for eggs of greater amberjack in Minamisatsuma, in the southern prefecture of Kagoshima. The seafood company currently grows and ships young fish imported from China. The new hatchery will enable the company to incubate eggs in Japan. Young greater amberjack will be shipped to its own farms and to other farmers. The company expects to ship 300,000 greater amberjack a year.
Maruha Nichiro hopes a new hatchery will make a full-cycle aquaculture commercially available. The company now imports young fish to farm yellowtail, but plans to switch to aquaculture in Japan in the future.