Fishing ban for sea urchin to be issued for Haneji area
Nakijin and Haneji Fishermen’s Associations, both in the northern part of Okinawa, are set to issue a fishing ban for sea urchins this year for the first time since 2005. The area of the ban covers the seas off Nakijin Village, Haneji district of Nago, and Ogimi Village.
Eikou Taira, the president of the association, announced the decision to the Okinawa Prefectural Government, June 27, and also stated that the reason for the action is to try to recover the resources in those areas through the effort.
The object of this issue is Collector Urchin. It has recently become a popular pastime to collect edible sea urchins in those areas and even visiting tourists catch them, resulting in over fishing. Usually July through September is the best sea urchin catch season, but this resulted in drastic reduction in the sea urchin population in 2012, and the associations decided to limit the permitted fishing season for collector urchins to only two weeks of July.
That resulted in the 2012 catch of collector urchins by Nakijin Fishermen’s Association to shrink 96.4% from the peak of 2004. All three fishermen’s associations will install signs announcing the fishing ban. They will have also set up patrols in the area to enforce the ban, and notify people visiting the beaches. They have also imposed a \200,000 fine to be levied on violators of the ban.