Economy, Forestry and Fishing
saury, Japan imports, commercial whaling, total fish, minke whales
Japanís annual timber harvest in 2000 was 19 million cu m (672 million cu ft). Japan imports more than 70 percent of its lumber needs, mostly in the form of logs and raw lumber rather than as finished products.
Japanís fishing industry is one of the largest in the world, with a total fish catch of 6.7 million metric tons in 1997. Coastal fishing by small boats, set nets, or breeding techniques contributes about one-third of the industryís total production, while offshore fishing from medium-sized boats accounts for more than half of the total. Deep-sea fishing by large vessels operating far from Japan makes up the remainder. Among the species caught are sardines, bonito, crab, shrimp, salmon, pollock, mackerel, squid, clams, saury, sea bream, tuna, and yellowtail. Japan is also among the worldís few remaining whaling countries. Although it officially outlawed commercial whaling in 1986 in conformance with an international ban on whaling, Japan continues to hunt minke whales in waters near Antarctica, saying this is for scientific purposes.
Fish is second only to rice as a staple in the Japanese diet. Japanís fishing fleet provides most of the fish consumed domestically, although due to rising demand and decreasing catches, fish imports exceed exports.
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