Abalone fishing resumes in northeastern Japan

Fishers in northeastern Japan have resumed catching abalone after a two-year pause due to a decline in hauls.

Abalone in Hirota Bay in Rikuzentakata City, Iwate Prefecture, were devastated as the seaweed they feed on was eaten by sea urchins, which had grown excessively.

Fishing resumed on Wednesday for the first time in three seasons following a gradual recovery in the number of abalone.

About 30 fishers went out to sea shortly after 6 a.m.
They peered underwater using glass-bottomed boxes and caught the abalone with hooked poles.

They finished at 9 a.m. and sorted their hauls back at the port. Abalone measuring less than 9 centimeters were returned to the sea for resource conservation.

Fisher Suzuki Kazuo said every haul was about three times the expected amount, but they're still smaller than before. He said they will continue efforts to revive local seaweed and get rid of sea urchins.