Thursday, April 14, 2011

kyodo news: Shiogama resumes tuna catches.

 Hundreds of tuna were offloaded Thursday at Shiogama port in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the biggest fishing bases in the Tohoku region, for the first time since it was hard hit by the March 11 killer quake and tsunami.

                                                                                                                          KYODO PHOTO
 Open season: Tuna are laid out at a fish market in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, for the first time since the March 11 monster earthquake and tsunami as fishermen returned to the sea.

 The Hoyo Maru No. 18, a trawler based in Tsukumi, Oita Prefecture, entered Shiogama port at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday with about 17 tons of fish, mainly tuna.
 The trawler was the first to bring fish to Shiogama port since the temblor and tsunami hit wide areas of northeastern and eastern Japan, prefectural officials said.
 Bid prices shot up at an auction at the Shiogama fish market held shortly after the catches were unloaded.
 In the 30-minute auction, a 65.8 kg big-eye tuna hit the highest price of 5,800 per kg, nearly double the usual 3,000, market sources said.
 Market operator Naoya Shiga said Shiogama will take the lead in reviving the Tohoku fishery industry.
 The boat's captain, Tokio Takatsuka, 62, told reporters that he received a report on the earthquake-tsunami disaster while operating around the Mariana Islands in the Pacific.
 Takatsuka said he has landed catches at Shiogama port for nearly 30 years and is happy to see the port resume operations.
 The disaster dealt a heavy blow to the Shiogama fish market, causing cracks to its quay walls and fish-disposal site. Stopgap restoration work paved the way for the fish market to resume partial operations.
 Shiogama, which is located in central Miyagi Prefecture, is known as one of the country's largest tuna ports. The Japan Coast Guard has located one of its 11 regional coast guard headquarters at Shiogama port.
 Tuna is one of the most popular kinds of fish for sushi and sashimi.
 Miyagi, Iwate and Fukushima were the prefectures worst hit by the temblor and tsunami, which have left more than 28,000 people dead or missing.


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