Nets quiver with large herring as the fishing season peaks in the Okhotsk region

The herring fishing season is reaching its peak in the Okhotsk region. Known in Japan as the “spring fish,” herrings herald the arrival of spring in the sea from which the drift ice has disappeared.  

The fisheries cooperative in Tokoro-cho in the city of Kitami began fishing on March 10. At approx. 2:30 a.m. on the 24th, thirteen boats left the port. Funahashi Keiichi and 4 other crewmembers of the Dai Juhachi Keiyu-maru raised seven 270-m-long nets that had been set approximately 20 km from the Tokoro Fishing Port. Copious amounts of large herring, over 30 cm in length, were caught in the nets with 7 cm mesh, and crewmembers removed and sorted each one by hand. In order to maintain the freshness, Funahashi quickly drained the blood by cutting the gills.

 According to the fisheries cooperative, on this day, the 13 boats landed 9 tons of herring, which fetched between 110 and 193 yen per kilo at auction. Prices continue to drop due to the impact of the Coronavirus. “If it weren’t for the Coronavirus, the price would be three times that. I hope it all ends soon,” said Funahashi.


Tokoro Fishing Port