Sailing out for shrimp season in Hokkaido, northern Japan

Traditional sail-powered shrimp boats have headed out to sea for the first time this season in Japan's northern prefecture of Hokkaido.

Fishers in Notsuke Bay who catch Hokkai shrimp rely on less-invasive sailing boats to avoid harming the delicate eelgrass habitat.

They landed nets filled with the brown-striped crustaceans, but were careful to discard any under around 9 centimeters to conserve resources.

Shrimping in the bay happens just twice a year, in early summer and fall. The second haul was canceled last year when discolored eggs were discovered, possibly due to a rise in water temperatures.
The local fisheries cooperative says a survey earlier this month found a slightly lower amount of shrimp than normal, but about the same as last summer.

Fisher Adachi Hayato said his first day on the water went well. He said there were some good-sized shrimp and he was glad that was just about enough.

The shrimp season in the bay runs through July 16th.