Fixed salmon nets: Fishermen move together to pull in full catches

The location is an offing about one kilometer from Cape Notoro in northeastern Hokkaido’s Abashiri City. Before sunup at a little past 3:00 am, the fishermen call out loudly as they pull the netting up. A deluge of silver fish comes fluttering in.
Along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk, autumn salmon fishing is at its peak season. In the Abashiri offing, Abashiri fixed-net fishing boats harvest their haul together with a small partner boat. The two-boat team places their net beforehand and uses both boats to pull the netting up to the surface.
Fixed-net fishing works by using straight line nets and the like to guide coast-area fish schools deep into the nets, thus filling the nets completely. Depending on the day, a boat may haul nets in as many as ten locations, packing boat storage with salmon.
Salmon fishing has been experiencing poor catches all over Hokkaido in recent years. A fixed-net fishing industry representative expressed enthusiastically, “We really want to recover in this fishing season lasting up to late November.”


Cape Notoro