Fukushima Pref. Working on Tiger Puffer Branding on Big Catches

Society

Soma, Fukushima Pref., Dec. 22 (Jiji Press)--Tiger puffer catches have been surging off Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, a blessing for the local communities hit by a series of disasters.

Fukushima municipalities including the city of Soma are trying to promote the branding of the fish to help the local fisheries industry recover from the heavy damage caused by misinformation on radioactive contamination related to the March 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.'s <9501> tsunami-crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, and by the powerful temblors in February 2021 and March 2022, both of which registered up to upper 6, the second-highest level on Japan’s seismic intensity scale.

According to the prefecture’s fisheries and marine research center, the amount of tiger puffer caught off the prefecture more than doubled to 6.3 tons in 2020 from 2.9 tons in 2019, and surged to 27.8 tons in 2021. This year, catches totaled 22.4 tons as of October.

Explaining the reason for the surge, an official at the center said, “Seawater temperatures off Fukushima have been higher than normal, making it easier for tiger puffer to inhabit the area.” Tiger puffer is an expensive delicacy in the country.

Masahiro Ishibashi, 43, from the Soma-Futaba fisheries cooperative and the first in the Fukushima organization to start fishing tiger puffer, said that the species began to be caught in nets around 2020 when he was fishing for flounders and other fish.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press