As worldwide marine resources have started to decline, fishery production has also started to dwindle. This means that there is a greater need than ever to promote sustainable fishing, built on a concern for natural ecosystems and their limited resources.
Fixed shore net fishing accounts for some 80% of Toyama Bay’s seafood catches, and is used to catch yellowtail, firefly squid, Japanese common squid, horse mackerel, mackerel, sardines, and more. Toyama Bay is considered one of the birthplaces of fixed shore net fishing, and there are ongoing efforts to keep it environmentally friendly.
Japanese glass shrimp fishermen voluntarily take part in resource management efforts, limiting things like their number of tows per day, or the number of days they go out fishing.
For example, in the Shinminato area, fishermen have opted to pool their fishing income and split it evenly among themselves. They divided themselves into two teams, and these teams take turns fishing on alternating days. This effectively ensures that the fishermen will all get good catches, and helps prevent excess competition among the fishermen.
As a result, total catches have begun to increase again in recent years, reversing what had been a downward trend since 2007.
It takes at least nine years for red snow crabs to grow large enough to catch (more than 9 cm wide across their body).
Fishermen have put a number of efforts in place to protect this natural resource, such as increasing the mesh size on the traps they use, and putting limits on the number of crabs they catch.
Traps called “crab baskets” are placed on the sea floor, more than 800 m below the surface. The bait in each basket draws crabs, trapping them inside to be then hauled up by fishermen.