History of Akasaka Fisheries
The history of Akasaka Fisheries is concern for people
The first president, Akasaka Katao “Creativity”
Akasaka Katao was born as the eldest of nine children in 1927. When his father took him fishing on the sea, he showed extraordinary talent, and after that he repeatedly made big catches mainly of sea bream. He founded Akasaka Fisheries in 1953 and made it into a company owning six 5 ton fishing boats.
However, he felt the number of natural fish was decreasing because in those days fishermen caught fish excessively as if competing with each other. He thought he had to coexist with the sea by creating his own resources for the years to come, and so he started flounder culture. The farming income gave him a big advantage in that he could decide not to go fishing when fish were spawning or were too young. The fewer natural fish there were, the more fishermen were driven out of business, but resource management allowed Katao to continue be a fisherman until he passed away at the age of 92 on May 16, 2019.
The second president, Akasaka Kitao “Sincerity”
Akasaka Kitao was born in 1954. After graduating from a local high school, he got a job at a company in Tokyo. In 1980 he took over the flounder business. They have been his life ever since.
He makes a point of inspecting each enclosure after the employees go home, and if feed or waste are left, he removes them before they flow into the sea. Moreover, he has voluntarily added almost 1 ton of water quality improvement agent to the nearby sea for more than 20 years. As a result of his sincere engagement with the sea, he has found himself leading in the number of flounder bred and shipped in Ehime.
He has also dealt with his customers sincerely. Akasaka Fisheries delivers live fish raised by us to distant consumer markets and deals there directly.
There were many aquaculture companies that delivered their fish alive like us 20 years ago. However, the more complicated customers’ needs have got, the harder it is to send any size of fish at any time. That is why most companies have given up shipment in their own trucks and entrusted the work to trucking companies. In that case, fish from various aquaculture companies are mixed during transportation, and care is not taken for the fish’s quality. In this way they have started to emphasize only how to grow bigger fish with less effort.
Nevertheless, Kitao has sincerely responded to customers’ requests. Even during typhoons or the day after a red tide, he has delivered fish on the same day he received an order.
He also removed all his flounder from the sea to facilities on land.
In addition, he started sea bream culture in response to customers’ request and set up all enclosures within 100m of the shore. He has established the method of selecting fish directly from the enclosures, in order to ship the size of fish ordered by customers at any time regardless of the weather.
Nowadays even leading distribution companies entrust shipments to us when the weather is bad. Through all these efforts, we have been directly dealing with consumer markets for more than 25 years.
We were honored to receive a letter of appreciation from the city of Hiroshima for our stable supply of fish in 2014.
Our direct sales have given us opportunities to interact closely with those who prepare and eat fish.
Our delight in customers’ feedback has encouraged us to pursue and improve our fish’s taste and quality.
The third president (to be), Akasaka Ryūtarō “Trial and Error”
Akasaka Ryūtarō was born in 1985. After he majored in mathematics at a university in Kansai, he got a job at an insurance company in Tokyo. Then he changed jobs to Akasaka Fisheries. Three years later, he was assigned the sea bream culture business. He paid attention to the financial statements which said feeding expense occupied 60 % of the whole expense of the sea bream culture, and he started to choose effective feed and ways of feeding.
First, he tried collecting data from controlled experiments comparing various conditions such as kinds of feed, the amount of feed, feeding interval, and feeding speed, in more than 10 enclosures. At first he thought he would get the result of the test soon, and could make use of the statistical analysis he had learned in graduate school and his former workplace, using IT. However, he had a very hard time collecting reliable data, because sea bream take as long as 2 years to grow, and moreover they are affected by different environments. He was evaluated poorly by other staff, because the sea bream he raised in some enclosures were far slower to grow than usual.
Nevertheless, all his senior staffers, who were like his family to him, cooperated in his controlled experiments. To meet their expectations, he worked hard to analyze the result of the test as he was gaining knowledge from papers and seminars at university, and by talking repeatedly with the feed makers. Three years after he started to handle the sea bream culture, his difficult task of data collection began to bear fruit.
First, he discovered that a kind of feed that was avoided by other aquaculture companies for its bad growth efficiency showed good results depending on water temperature and other environmental conditions. He has grown fish with excellent results, using feed properly according to the environmental variables that he himself calculated.
He has focused on the best feed for fish growth, and thus Akasaka Fisheries now has one of the lowest unit prices in the prefecture, despite being a medium-sized fishery.
In addition, given Ryūtarō’s earnest attitude toward data analysis, the feed makers recommend feed to him that they are confident will improve growth efficiency without showy sales talk.
As a result, the income ratio of the sea bream culture has improved to at least double that from before he took responsibility for the sea bream.
We place a premium on these three points: the resolution to coexist with the sea from generation to generation; the fish quality we have improved by responding sincerely to customers’ needs; and direct sales via direct transportation on the same day year round. We hope to be a company that always remains close to the sea, customers, consumers, and the public.
“Hakuju Madai” gives freshness, tastiness, and health to customers.
We grow “Yokozuna Hirame” considering safety as well as attractiveness and having the thickest flounder in Japan.
These fish were produced based on the proposals of customers, who have been directly on the front line with consumers.
We regard the “evolution” of cultured fish as their greatest value compared with natural fish. We will improve fish quality in cooperating with our business partners, never being satisfied with the present situation.
A group of rocks on the Susaki shore has been registered as Japan’s oldest vertical striped stratum on the list of Japanese Geoparks.
We have set up fish farms near the registered area. The approximately 400 million year old stratum encourages us every day to preserve the environment.
We will engage with the sea through elaborate farm maintenance and water quality improvement, without regarding efficiency.
We believe our same day year round delivery system is one of the biggest values we offer to society. When an ordinary trucking company delivers live fish, it takes a couple of days from ordering due to negotiations with fish farmers. On the contrary, we have established a system in which we can ship fish of any size in our live fish trucks 365 days a year, so we deliver fish on the day we receive an order.
This system allows orderers to not keep fish in stock excessively, leading to a large reduction in food loss. Thus the number of fish caught for no purpose is decreasing, and eventually we will regain a rich sea full of many resources not only in Mikame Bay but also surrounding all of Japan. That is what we keep in mind every day as we work.