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Japanese Sushi Chefs Turn to Landlocked African Country for Fresh Fish

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Overfishing has inspired the Japanese to turn to unexpected sources for seafood.

Highlands Trout farm in Lesotho.
Highlands Trout farm in Lesotho.
Highlands Trout

The fish on last night's sushi platter may have come from a landlocked country in Africa. Recently, overfishing has become a big problem, especially for Japan. Thanks in part to a global sushi boom, Japanese sushi dealers have had to turn to surprising sources to help supply the high demand. According to Modern Farmer, one of those sources is the African nation of Lesotho, which is actually surrounded by South Africa. However, the country has the second-biggest dam on the continent which is now being used to to create fish farms.

The company Highlands Trouts — which was founded in 2009 — is set to produce over 1,600 tons of trout this yearNews Max notes that the farm — which is located high above sea level in the Maluti Mountains — provides "pristine environmental conditions" for farming large trout. Thanks to the altitude, the water temperatures are also close to ideal [for trout] for most of the year." The vast majority of the fish that Highlands grows heads to Japan.

Three years ago, sushi master Jiro Ono predicted that the world's selection of seafood would "totally change in five years" and that the sushi of the future will not be made from the "same materials that we use today." Looks like Ono's prediction is quickly becoming a reality.

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