Japan and Russia have entered into discussions about negotiations over the fishing quota of salmon that is spawned in Russian rivers, according to Japanese media reports.
Citing government sources, Japanese media outlets claimed that, despite countries imposing restrictions on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, the two nations are set to begin negotiations, as Japan attempts to agree a quota for its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
The discussions could be set to launch news week, although Japan could face challenges, as Russia has been angered by Tokyo’s decision to impose sanctions on Moscow over the military actions against its neighboring country.
The two countries regularly engage in negotiations over the fishing quote, with talks usually taking place around April and May. Japan is seeking to secure its own interests with the latest talks despite the ongoing international tension.
The agreement between the two countries sees Japan pay a cooperation fee to Russia for fishing salmon, as well as trout, that is spawned in Russian rivers. Last year, the nations agreed a quota of 2,050 tons and a fee of between ¥260 million (€1.9 million) and ¥300 million (€2.2 million) depending on the catch.
Alongside the fishing quota agreement, Japan has paid Russia a fee to conduct ‘dragnet fishing’ trials within Russia’s EEZ, with fishing operations set to enter full operation in June.
Japan has been impacted by the fallout from Russia’s assault on Ukraine, with sushi prices rising in the Asian nation amid disruption to the seafood supply chain due to international restrictions on Moscow.
Russia is the third-largest exporter of seafood to Japan, according to the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, making up 8.6% of all seafood imports into the Asian nation. Red salmon is one of the key products provided by Russia, with Moscow providing 79% of the supply to Japan.
As well as the direct impact from Russia, Japan has been hit by the restrictions on airspace above Russia, as rerouted or cancelled flights from European exporters have restricted Tokyo’s ability to secure seafood.