Diving for sea urchins among the drift ice in Nemuro Bay

Diving for Ezo-bafun sea urchins in the fishing grounds amid the drift ice

Fishermen from the Nemuro Bay Chubu Fisheries Cooperative in East Hokkaido are diving for sea urchins off the coast of Nemuro. Wetsuit-clad fishermen dive into the sea, in which drift ice floats, to catch Ezo-bafun sea urchins.
On March 18, two small boats of less than 10 tons left Horomoshiri Fishing Port in the city of Nemuro at around 7:00 a.m. The fishing took place for two hours, approximately 1 km from the port. Komukai Junichi, owner of the ‘Dai-32 Shunryu-maru’ fishing boat, dived down to a depth of 2 meters and individually checked the sea urchins, which appeared to be in good condition, before placing them in the net and hauling them back to the boat.
Fishing began on March 17. On the first day, 480 kg were landed, fetching a high price of 3,132 yen per kilo. Mr. Komukai hopes that the high price will continue as consumption is expected to increase. The cooperative’s sea urchin fishing will continue until the end of May.


Nemuro Bay Chubu Fisheries Cooperative