Fish market auctioning resumes in Iwaki amid hopes for greater sales

A fisheries cooperative association in Iwaki city, Fukushima Prefecture, resumed auctioning at the Onahama Fish Market on April 3 for fish caught in test operations in coastal waters. It was the first time since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and ensuing nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant that fish hauled in trial fishing were auctioned off at the fish market in the city. More than 20 brokers in the city participated in the auction organized by the Onahama Trawl Fisheries Cooperative Association. Auctioned were about 2.3 tons of seafood in 24 varieties, including “mehikari” (greeneyes) and “hirame” (flounder). Brokers slipped pieces of paper written with bid prices into auction boxes to buy the fish of their choice. Auctioning was resumed to help expand marketing channels and revitalize the market. Thus far, coastal fish catches were brought together for sale at prices negotiated with a cooperative union of brokers and delivered to the union in block. The fisheries association plans to use both auctions and negotiated sales for the present, and gradually increase the variety of fish species subject to bidding. (Translated by Kyodo News)