Japanese amberjack

The Japanese amberjack or yellowtail, Seriola quinqueradiata, is a fish in the family Carangidae. It is native to the northwest Pacific, from Japan to Hawaii.

It is greatly appreciated in Japan, where it is called hamachi or buri. These "hamachi" or "buri" are often used in the Japanese food sushi. They are also eaten cooked and are a seasonal favourite in the colder months when the meat must have higher fat content.

Some of the fish consumed are caught wild, but a substantial amount is farmed (about 120,000 tonnes per year). To populate the farms, every May farmers fish for the small wild fry (called mojako), which can be found under floating seaweed. They scoop out the seaweed together with the mojako and put the mojako in cages in the sea.

The small fry are grown until they reach 10 to 50 grams in mass. They are then sold to farmers, who grow them until they reach 3 kilograms called hamachi, or 5 kilograms called buri. These days most farmers use extruded pellets to feed the fish.


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