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Friday, July 16, 2010

Shark Fins At Kesennuma


This gruesome video was shot by Hong Kong based British photographer Alex Hofford in Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture.

Kesennuma is Japan's and indeed the world's shark fin capital with most of the fins destined for the domestic Japanese market and some exported to Hong Kong and mainland China. The fishing port also lands large numbers of tuna, bonito, and Pacific saury.
Kesennuma was virtually destroyed in the March 2011 tsunami.

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1 comment:

alexhofford said...


You should probably correct your blog post.

According to a 2008 Kesen-numa Municipal Fisheries Report, the majority of shark fin from Kesen-numa is for JAPANESE consumption. Japan is as much part of the problem as China.

Dried Fins total 87 tons
Per 1 kilo JPY8,947
46 tons for Kanto (Tokyo)
13 tons for Kinki (Osaka)
21 tons for Miyagi / Kesen-numa
7 tons for Export (Mainly China)

Wet fins total 18 tons
Per 1 kilo JPY30,848
11 tons for Kanto (Tokyo)
7 tons for Miyagi / Kesen-numa
0 tons for export

Frozen fins total 785 tons
Per 1 kilo JPY2,000
Kesen-numa 615 tons
Kanto 165 tons
Chubu (Nagoya) 6 tons
Kinki 3 tons
Tohoku 1 tons
Others 4 tons
Export 0 tons

Salmon shark 3,472 tons
Blue shark 9,722 tons
Other shark species 1,077 tons
TOTAL: 14,271 tons
Total revenue in JPY2,781,469,000.00

Salmon shark 3,746 tons
Blue shark 8,200 tons
Other shark species 973 tons
TOTAL: 12,721
Total revenue in JPY2,982,912,000

The most interesting thing I found from these figures is that the majority of shark fin is for the domestic market, not for export. Thus, shark finnning is not just a Chinese problem, but a Japanese problem too - although admittedly not on the same scale.

According to the report, the gross tonnage for blue shark went down alarmingly from 2007 (9,722 tons) to 2008 (8,200 tons) - a decline of 18.6% in two years.

Alex Hofford