Sea Urchin, Salmon Death Damage Seen at Max 17 B. Yen

Economy

Sapporo, Oct. 29 (Jiji Press)--Financial damage at Hokkaido' fisheries industry from the massive deaths of sea urchins and autumn salmons, as well as other fish, could reach up to 17 billion yen, Naomichi Suzuki, governor of the northernmost Japan prefecture, has suggested.

The industry's damage from the problem has totaled 7.7 billion yen so far, he told a press conference Thursday.

Red tide of an unprecedented scale is believed to have caused the recent massive deaths of sea urchins, autumn salmons and other marine creatures in Pacific waters off the eastern coast of Hokkaido. The figure of 7.7 billion yen would be the largest amount of fisheries industry damage from red tide if it is confirmed to be responsible, according to the Fisheries Agency.

As of Oct. 22, damage totaled about 7 billion yen for sea urchins and roughly 57 million yen for autumn salmons, according to the Hokkaido government. Damage has been confirmed for other fish as well, such as amberjack.

The red tide was first confirmed off the city of Kushiro in eastern Hokkaido in mid-September and later spread to other areas, including waters off the city of Nemuro and the Hidaka region. A local fishery cooperative expects to suffer up to about 9 billion yen in damage over the next three to seven years, according to Hokkaido government officials.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press