May 26, 2011

Before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, the Tohoku region of Japan was a major center for Japan’s fishing industry. The infrastructure in these ports was devastated by the disaster. Boats were washed away, wharfs destroyed, and in many port areas, the ground sank significantly after the earthquake, making the area prone to flooding. Roads are damaged, making it hard to transport fish to other parts of the country, and fishermen and consumers alike are concerned about contamination from the radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant. Peace Winds Japan (PWJ) has begun a survey in the town of Minamisanriku to determine what type of aid the fishing industry there will need to recover. In preparation for that work, PWJ set up a temporary office in cooperation with the Utatsu Branch Volunteers of the Japan Fisheries Cooperatives (JF). They have borrowed a room at Minamisanriku Heisei no Mori—a public recreational facility—and are holding meetings with the Utatsu Fisheries Cooperative and the Shizukawa Fisheries Cooperative.