Shiretoko Salmon Fisherman has 20,000 followers on TikTok with fish filleting videos
Salmon fisherman Maruko Mizuki from the Utoro area of Shari in Eastern Hokkaido is growing in popularity on social media. He has approximately 20,000 followers on the video posting app “TikTok”, where he uploads videos introducing the appeal of the fishing industry and fish. He has become so popular, he opened his own seafood processing shop. He has also appeared as a fashion magazine model, and expresses a strong desire, “To show the young generation the fun of the fishing industry and the deliciousness of Shiretoko fish.”
“Hello. Today I am going to fillet sixty Okhotsk atka mackerels.” As Maruko starts a livestream on TikTok a little after 1:00 p.m. on November 22 from a seafood processing facility, about 200 viewers started viewing almost immediately. Viewer comments include questions such as, “How do you know which Okhotsk atka mackerels are the tastiest by sight,” and, “What is the difference between mahokke mackerel and shima-hokke mackerel?” Maruko answers each question attentively while slicing fish.
Maruko started being active on social media from October 2020 under the name “Shiretoko Salmon Fisherman” (Japanese: Shiretoko no Sake Ryoshi). When he started posting videos showing the process of filleting fish, follower numbers shot up. Orders saying, “I want to eat filleted fish,” also started pouring in, and in October 2021 he launched “Maruko Suisan” (Maruko Seafood). During the chum salmon fishing season, he processed fish at the processing facility after returning from the ocean. Now that the fishing season is over, he produces and sells products like salmon harasu (marbled belly meat) and salmon roe with the help of fisherman friends.
With a trout fisherman father and a mother of mixed Filipino and Spanish heritage, Maruko has a deeply sculptured face with fine features, and is popular with women. In an April 2021 popularity vote contest, he won the grand prize for the Tohoku-Hokkaido area category, and also appeared as a model in the November edition of the men’s fashion magazine “MEN’S NON-NO”.
Maruko commented, “I felt that if I appeared in a nationwide magazine, I would be able to advertise myself as a fisherman and increase the awareness of how great fish is to a large number of people. In this climate of decreasing catch yields and fewer fishermen, sharing information on social media is essential in bolstering the value of the fishing industry. My goal for the future is to increase the number of Utoro fish fans and people who share my line of work.”
In addition to TikTok, Maruko also puts out information on Twitter and Instagram as well. Search for “Shiretoko Salmon Fisherman” (Japanese: 知床の鮭漁師) to see his posts.
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