Japan’s revised Fisheries Act has just come into effect on 1st December. It focuses on expanding the scientific management of fishery resources, by introducing individual quotas (IQ) within total allowable catch (TAC), and removing restrictions on who can participate in commercial fishing or aquaculture, opening the door for private companies to become involved. The reform was carried out for the first time in 70 years with the aim to develop the industry to overcome long-term challenges.
The revision provides more flexibility to access lease rights. We were hearing that it was difficult for oyster farmers in many regions to try and expand water with culture methods new to Japan, such as single seed farming, due to restriction of the current lease right system, which was based on the traditional culture methods. The farmers now have the revision of the Fisheries Act to support them to expand leases to modernise their culture system and to potentially invite private capitals in order to shift the level of farming capability.