24-36 % of seafood imports to Japan are of illegal and unreported origin

Seafood is an integral part of the Japanese culture and comprises more than 40% of animal protein consumed each year. Japan is the third leading seafood importer in the world, importing 2.54 million tonnes of seafood valued at US$ 13.8 billion in 2014. Previous studies have shown that as much as 20–32 % of seafood imported by USA is of IUU origin.


In the absence of reliable traceability systems and enforcement capacity, countries in the developing world often certify and export products without adequate provenance

Investigation of illegal and unreported fishing in source countries indicates that 24–36% of 2.15 million tonnes of wild-seafood imports to Japan in 2015 were of illegal and unreported origin, valued at $1.6 to $2.4 billion. A supply chain case study of crab imported from Russia illustrates the intricacies of trade in illegal seafood products in the Asia-Pacific region.

Read the full paper here: Pramod, G., Pitcher, T. J., & Mantha, G. (2017) Estimates of illegal and unreported seafood imports to Japan. Marine Policy, 84, 42-51.



Author: Pramod Ganapathiraju

Dr Pramod is Fisheries Consultant with extensive experience working with Governments, Researchers, NGOs and coastal fishing communities throughout the Asia and Pacific Regions, Africa, Caribbean, USA and Canada. He has published numerous articles in a range of peer-reviewed journals, books, drafted MSC Pre-Assessments and NGO reports. He has worked extensively on Illegal fishing and Monitoring Control & Surveillance projects with a focus on compliance and enforcement worldwide. With more than 18 years of global experience he is currently working on projects for various clients evaluating fisheries compliance, developing MCS operational procedures and estimating illegal fishing in several countries.Consulting and research experience spans more than 18 countries in Southeast Asia (India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc.), Western Pacific (Indonesia, Philippines), West Africa, Caribbean and North America. His consulting and research work is focused towards finding policy solutions to fisheries management issues, improving traceability, catch certification, fisheries governance and analyzing risks associated with illegal fishing products in the Global Supply Chains.

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