Complete Farm-Raising Cycle for Bluefin Tuna at Kinki University


Solving the Problems of the Depletion of Marine Resources and Food Supplies

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Complete Farm-Raising Cycle for Bluefin Tuna

at Kinki University




“One medium fatty tuna, please!” Until when will we be able to eat delicious tuna whenever we like?
Controls on the fishing of bluefin tuna have been tightened around the world in recent years. For example, at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Washington Convention (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), held in Doha, Qatar, in March 2010, exactly one year ago, a total ban on international trade in Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna was discussed.
In recent years, because of their delicious taste, bluefin tuna have come to be eaten a lot in Europe, the United States, and Asia; they are especially popular among the wealthy in China. But the Japanese remain the principal consumers, accounting for about 80% of the total.
In this article, IHCSA Café introduces the research results and future activities of the Fisheries Laboratory of Kinki University, which has been continuing research on aquaculture methods for a shift “from fishing to farming” based on the theme of achieving a balance between the increased production of marine resources and the natural environment.

Japanese began to eat the fatty meat of tuna only recently

In terms of the history of tuna eating in Japan, the excavation of tuna bones from shell mounds dating from the Jomon period (ca 8000–300 BC) suggests that tuna were consumed a very long time ago.
In the Edo period (1603–1868) tuna fishing off the coasts of Boso and Miura Peninsulas was lively. The fish would rot before arrival in Edo (present-day Tokyo), so people would preserve it by cutting mainly the red meat into thin slices and soaking
them in soy sauce before eating. At that time the Japanese preferred simple tastes, like bonito and sardines, and apparently they did not like the fatty part of tuna very much.
It was in the 1950s and 1960s, during the period of high economic growth in Japan, that refrigeration technology advanced. Moreover, under the influence of rich Western-style cooking using butter and so on and other factors, tastes changed, and the Japanese began to relish the oily part of tuna meat.

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