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Japan's favorite fall fish aren't biting -- except in the wallet

Decades-low catches send wholesale, retail prices soaring

Pacific saury catches have hit historic lows this autumn.

TOKYO -- Fish that typically grace Japanese dinner tables in the fall have become even scarcer this year, pushing up prices of some to three or four times what they were.

The Pacific saury haul is projected to be the smallest in 40 years, sinking under last year's low. Roughly 19,000 tons of saury -- a long, silvery fish known as sanma in Japanese -- were caught from July to September among Japan's major fishing ports, less than half the amount from the same period last year, according to the Japan Fisheries Information Service Center. 

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