Fishermen throughout Japan have inherited traditional knowledge about the foreshore (local sea) from generation to generation, but generally have less knowledge about the sea and nature more broadly. As the ecosystem is changing due to recent climate change, some of the traditional knowledge that has been passed down locally is becoming unusable.
We can adapt to changes in our local oceans and nature by taking a broader perspective than just the ocean in front of us, and by sharing common challenges and measures to address them.
More than 100,000 fishermen operate daily in Japan's oceans. Various knowledge about the local sea, nature, and fish has been passed down and accumulated from generation to generation. However, with the recent climate change, the natural environment, oceans, and the situation surrounding fish has been changing noticeably. Under these circumstances, there is a growing movement among fishermen throughout Japan to bring together their knowledge and experience, share it with others, and exchange opinions on common issues and adaptation measures.
“Climate Change and Disaster Map” created by fishermen
Seventy representatives of young and middle-aged fishermen from all over Japan, from northern part to southern part, held a workshop to share the problems caused by global changes and how to respond to them. In addition to creating a map of climate change and natural disasters, specific measures and experiences were shared, and new ideas were generated. Researchers in the field of fisheries science also participated in the workshop, analyzing and organizing the results from a scientific perspective. The results of these efforts were introduced in the Fisheries Agency’s mid-term policy (Basic Plan for Fisheries).
National Youth and Women Fishermen's Exchange Games (aka "Hama-no-Koshien: national fisheries’ championship")
Youth and women members of fishery cooperatives across Japan share their activities to overcome challenges such as sustainable use of fishery resources, conservation of the marine environment, and adaptation to changing nature. In addition to issues common to each prefecture by species of fish or by fishing gear, good practices from around the country were introduced regarding nationwide issues (climate change, corona disasters, fuel oil price hikes, etc.). The information shared in Hama-no-Koshien is used to study solutions to local issues in each region.
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