Fishing boats await spring and the dispersal of drift ice on the Okhotsk coast

One hundred and fifteen fishing boats hauled ashore to avoid the drift ice off the Okhotsk Sea coast in Tokoro-cho in Kitami in eastern Hokkaido are waiting to leave the port to go fishing. Work to return the fishing boats to the sea began on March 3. March 20 is the date when, in normal years, the “opening of the sea” – when the amount of drift ice reduces enough for the boats to set sail – usually occurs.

 Half of the fishing boats are used for harvesting scallops, the local specialty product. All the boats were hauled ashore by last December and were cleaned and painted while the harbors were blocked by the ice that drifts south in the Okhotsk Sea.

 The Tokoro Fisheries Cooperative will monitor the state of the drift ice and gradually begin sending the boats out to fish for North Pacific giant octopus and herring, and to prepare the scallop fishing grounds.


Tokoro fishing port