The Fisheries Research Center of the Fisheries Research Agency (FRA) is engaged in a project to find new fish from the world’s oceans that suit the Japanese palate.
In 1971, the former Marine Fisheries Resource Development Center was established as a public organization to research new fishing grounds and fish and shellfish, and to study business feasibility, and was given the mission to find fish and shellfish that had not been distributed in Japan before.
The seafood distributed domestically by the Center was called “development fish”.
The term “development fish” does not refer to the creation of new types of seafood through breeding or other means, but rather to efforts to make new use of fish and shellfish that have not been distributed domestically. A similar term is “substitute fish,” which is used in place of fish and shellfish that have been conventionally consumed, but developed fish are not intended to be substitutes.
For example, “Gindara (Black cod)” is a fish that was investigated in collaboration with the United States.
This fish is not a codfish, but a member of the Gindara family. At first, it was distributed mainly as surimi because it was black and unattractive, but later it was also consumed as fillets and boiled fish.
The “Karasugarei (Greenland halibut)” is found in the Arctic Ocean, the Bering Sea, and the Sea of Okhotsk. It is often used as Engawa in conveyor-belt sushi.
There is another fish called “Gasutoro“. This fish, named after the leader of the Cuban Revolution, is used in fried white fish. The meat of the “Gasutoro” is white and unctuous, and it is caught along with tuna in longline fisheries.
Since its establishment, the FRA has developed a total of 46 species of fish and shellfish, including Sunfish, Kingklip, and Jumbo flying squid, to provide new food sources. The “development fish” has also enriched our diet.
Unfortunately, the development of “development fish” ended about 20 years ago.
We hope this information will be helpful.
Revision date: February 9, 2024
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