News On Japan

Revitalizing Seaweed Harvesting in Coastal Fukushima

FUKUSHIMA, Jan 18 (News On Japan) - The nori fishing industry in Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture, is thriving as efforts continue to recover production levels that declined following the Great East Japan Earthquake and nuclear disaster.

This season's nori fishing in Matsukawa-ura, Soma City, began in the middle of last month. On the morning of the 17th, fishers boarded their boats before 6:30 AM and headed to the nori shelves used for cultivation. Upon arrival, they began harvesting the nori swiftly using specialized machinery.

Matsukawa-ura in Soma City was once among the top nori producing areas in the country. However, due to the damage to aquaculture facilities caused by the earthquake and nuclear disaster 13 years ago, production volumes have remained low, with the production volume two years ago being only 15% of the pre-disaster levels.

According to Hiroyuki Yamashita, a director of the Soma Futaba Fisheries Cooperative who engages in nori fishing, this season has seen the best growth since the resumption of fishing, as there were no impacts from heavy rain or typhoons.

Additionally, Soma City's nori was exported to Europe for the first time since the disaster last November, and there are plans to expand sales channels, including exports to Asia and other overseas markets. Mr. Yamashita said, "Its appealing feature is the strong scent of the shore. We conduct inspections to ensure safety before shipping, so I would like everyone to try it."

Source: NHK

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