Launching ceremonies for Habomai kelp-fishing boat and Ochiishi gillnet fishing boat
On May 26, launching ceremonies were held in the eastern Hokkaido city of Nemuro, for two new fishing boats: a kelp-fishing boat and a gillnet fishing boat that catches cod and other fish.
The kelp-fishing boat is the 88th Eiho-maru, affiliated with the Habomai Fishing Cooperative. Approximately 20 people gathered at boat’s home port of Onnemoto for the ceremony. The Eiho-maru flew more than 10 brightly colored green and pink fishing flags and sailed to Cape Nosappu and back while playing enka (Japanese folk songs) to add to the celebratory atmosphere.
Negotiations regarding kelp fishing in the waters off Kaigara Island in the Northern Territories have been in limbo due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Mr. Odajima, who owns the Eiho-maru, said, “I am not sure if I will be able to go out to Kaigara Island but, if I can, I would like to go and fill my boat with kelp.”
At Ochiishi Fishing Port, the 82nd Shinei-maru, a gillnet fishing boat affiliated with the Ochiishi Fishing Cooperative, was also unveiled. On its initial voyage lasting an hour and a half, the boat departed from Ochiishi Fishng Port and visited Hanasaki and other ports in the area, and the owner of the vessel, Mr. Ogawa, expressed his hopes for good catches in future.
After returning to port, prayers were held for good catches and safety, and people from the region gathered at the wharf to catch auspicious red and white rice cakes and confectionery that were thrown from the boat.
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