The northern territories are seen from above Nemuro Peninsula, lower left, in Hokkaido (Yomiuri Shimbun file photo)
Russia approves Japanese fishing around northern territories
Thursday, September 29, 2022, 07:00 (GMT + 9)
Russia has approved Japanese fishing operations to catch Okhotsk atka mackerel in waters around Kunashiri island of the northern territories, according to the Hokkaido Fisheries Association.
Okhotsk atka mackerel, locally known as hokke, is usually sun-dried for preservation as a food source.
In June, the Russian government suspended the implementation of an agreement between Japan and Russia aimed at the safe operation of Japanese fishing boats in waters around the northern territories. The Russian side made that announcement on the grounds that the payment of aid to a cooperation project with the state of Sakhalin had not been completed.
The Sea of Okhotsk is a very rich sea for fish, where multiple ocean currents nurture the plankton that feed on them and the Atka mackerel raised there has a great amount of exercise and eats plenty of food in the rough seas of nature. Photo: courtesy furusato.saisoncard
According to the fisheries association and other sources, subsequent negotiations have resulted in the completion of aid payments and other procedures.
Japan’s Foreign Ministry then contacted the fisheries association in charge of negotiations with Russia to inform it that the Russian side has approved the fishing operations.
As a result, gill net fishing for Okhotsk atka mackerel around Kunashiri Island is expected to begin as early as Friday.
Fishermen unloading atka mackerel and other fish on land after fishing. Photo: courtesy The Hokkaido Shimbun Press
The safe operation agreement is one of several deals between Japan and Russia concerning fishing. Under the agreement, such terms as the size of catches, the fishing season and the number of boats are determined through negotiations in order to prevent the seizure of Japanese fishing vessels by Russian authorities.
The conditions for this year’s operation were decided last December, so gill net fishing for Okhotsk atka mackerel was originally scheduled to begin Sept. 16 before the suspension.
Source: The Japan News/Yomiuri Shimbun