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"Partial revision of the guidelines for the legal product names of seafood" and "Proposed procedure for new standardized Japanese names for fish" announced

On July 16th, 2020, the Consumer Affairs Agency (CAA) announced the "Partial revision of the guidelines for the legal product names of seafood" and the "Proposal procedure for the new standardized Japanese names for fish according to the guidelines for the legal names of seafood".

[ Main Points ]

  • Some fish species have been added and standard Japanese names have been arranged.
  • A new standard Japanese name can be proposed for fish species that do not have any standard Japanese names.

Background

The "Guidelines for the legal names of seafood" are intended to serve as a reference for businesses retailers of fresh seafood, which will be helpful when displaying the legal names of seafood based on Food Labeling Standards. These are also guidelines to rely on to confirm the most common legal names when labeling processed foods that use seafood as ingredients.
These revision drafts were released after four study meetings regarding the creation of the revision drafts to the guidelines last year because there have been requests to amend the guidelines by adding fish species and other new details from fisheries-related business organizations.

Outline of the guidelines revision

The outline of the revision is as follows.

1. Addition of fish species

Domestic fish species: 3 species (Promethichthys prometheus, Selar crumenophthalmus, Cynoglossus robustus)
Overseas fishing grounds fish species, alien fish species: 39 species (Rostrorajaeglanteria, Anguillarostrata, Synaphobranchuskaupii, Pangasiushypophthalmus, Sprattussprattus, Argentinasilus, Osmerusmordax, Genypterusblacodes, Merlucciusaustralis, Urophycistenuis, Lophiusamericanus, Beryxdecadactylus, Sebastolobusalascanus, Sebastesvariabilis, Sebastespolyspinis, Sebastesentomelas, Sebastesruberrimus, Sebastesborealis, Sebastesviviparus, Polyprionamericanus, Polyprionoxygeneios, Epigonustelscopus, Trachurusnovaezelandiae, Trachurusdeclivis, Trachurusmurphyi, Nemipterushexodon, Pagrusauratus, Sillagobassensis, Sillagoaeolus, Sillagosihama, Sillagorobusta, Sillagomaculata, Pseudopentacerosrichardson, Latrislineata, Scortumbarcoo, Schedophilusvelaini, Glyptocephaluszachirus, Hippoglossushippoglossus, Hippoglossoideselassodon)

2. Deletion of fish species "Oreochromis mossambicus", of which actual production and distribution are not implemented, was deleted
3. Standardized Japanese names and common names examples arranged

Domestic fish species: 5 species (Oncorhynchus masou masou, Oncorhynchus gorbuscha, Oncorhynchus kisutch, Beryx splendens, Sebastes alutus)
Overseas fishing grounds/ fish species, alien fish species: 15 species (Ictalurus punctatus, Pangasius hypophthalmus, Merluccius, Pollachius virens, Sebastes norvegicus, Sebastes mentella, Dissostichus eleginoides, Rexea solandri, Thyrsites atun, Gasterochisma melampus, Oreochromis niloticus, Hyperoglyphe antarctica, Seriolella punctata, Seriolella brama, Hippoglossoides platessoides)

 4. Correction of scientific names Domestic fish species: 10 species (アカエイ(JA): Dasyatis akajeiHemitrygon akajei etc.)
Fish species of overseas fishing grounds/foreign fish species: 3 species
(モトアカウオ(JA): Sebastes marinusSebastes norvegicus etc.)

Proposal procedure for new standardized Japanese names

In the guidelines, fish legal names are indicated based on the standard Japanese names, but there are some fish species that do not have a standard Japanese name, such as fish species newly distributed in the domestic market. For this reason, the members discussed at the above-mentioned study meetings that a scheme should be established to enable standardized Japanese names to be used for such fish species.
The new scheme, whose target is to set new standardized Japanese names for species without one, will allow to suggest new appellations with the aid of researchers of "The Ichthyological Society of Japan", through the CAA.

For more detailed information about the scheme, please visit the CAA site.

Checking the old and new comparison table

The guidelines for the legal names of seafood are one of the attached materials of the Food Labeling Standards Q&A. Therefore, the 11th revision of the Food Labeling Standards Q&A was also made on July 16, 2020, the same day as the announcement. Since the old and new comparison tables are also posted, those who handle seafood, use seafood as raw materials, or handle seafood which do not have their standard Japanese names such as imported foreign-produced fish, are recommend to have a read at the changes.

Reference:
Regarding the "Partial revision of the guidelines for the legal names of seafood" and the "Proposal procedure for the new standardized Japanese names for fish according to the guidelines for the legal names of seafood".

September 2020