One of Japan’s Largest Seafood Importers Visits Augusta

Last week, Ocean Grown Abalone (OGA) welcomed Tomoki Uragami from KYOKUYO CO. LTD, one of Japan’s largest seafood importers to Augusta. For his first time in Australia, Mr. Uragami received the royal abalone treatment – a Japanese dinner with abalone prepared two different ways, a trip on a dive boat followed by a tasting of freshly shucked, wild OGA greenlip abalone from the Southern Ocean.

OGA is increasing their abalone product range and distribution to include Tokyo, Japan. They plan on exporting a frozen whole in shell (WIS) product to Japan – perfect for sashimi style dishes. OGA’s most popular product is the IQF – or individually quick frozen meat. They have recently launched a new retail product which is in distribution in some Chinese supermarkets. The new retail-ready product landed in China conveniently in time for Chinese New Year, a popular time to consume the highly revered delicacy.
Tomoki Uragami was extremely impressed by what he saw and tasted in the south west.

Starting with a dinner at Margaret River eatery, Miki’s Open Kitchen, Mr. Uragami tried two different abalone dishes using the frozen WIS product, which he described as, “world class.”

He explains his first impressions after returning from the sea ranch at Flinders Bay. “It’s beautiful. On the boat, I was surprised at what I saw,” he said.

OGA uses an advanced and highly researched sea ranching technique, whereby juvenile greenlip abalones are placed in the ocean on OGA custom built reefs called abitats and left to nature to grow for 2-3 years until they reach a marketable size. They feed and survive in the wild as nature intended.

After a diver delivered a live greenlip, straight from the ‘abitat’ on the ocean bed, Brad Adams shucked the animal and prepared it sashimi style Mr. Uragami said the abalone was the best he had ever had.

“The texture, taste, colour, everything, the best.”

Japan are one of the largest importers of land based farmed abalone in the world and one of the largest importers of live Australian abalone. Their favourite way to consume abalone in Japan is no surprise, sashimi style.

For OGA, Mr. Uragami will be an important new client. “This is our first Japanese client, and it is the first time their company, Kyokuyo will import abalone from Australia,” said Ian Ricciardi, Executive Director, Ocean Grown Abalone.

“They are interested in our frozen whole in shell product, perfect for sashimi and their high end food service distribution.”

“Whilst it is still early days for OGA, having a client of this caliber on board is exciting.”

Mr. Ricciardi added, “Uragami san was extremely impressed by his abalone experience in Australia’s south west. We are looking forward to more dealings with Kyokuyo co. ltd. in the future.”