As the seventh anniversary of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the coast of Japan on 11th March 2011 approaches, a group of fishermen has been working to revive one of Tohoku's key industries. The most powerful earthquake ever to hit Japan resulted in gigantic tsunami waves that tore coastal towns and villages apart, carrying ships inland and washing debris out to sea.

Before the disaster, the worst hit areas already faced problems such as a declining, ageing population and poor transport links. After the disaster, many fishermen were forced to give up their work entirely.

Some people decided to remain in Tohoku and build businesses or try and revive the area. Over the years, a spirit of entrepreneurship has helped some of Tohoku's industries move from preliminary recovery to reconstruction and beyond. The disaster became a way to push people to change or expand nature and content of their existing businesses.

Fisherman Japan is a co-operative group established in 2014 by Shota Abe, a seaweed farmer. Its members are a number of people from various backgrounds and occupations, including fishermen, fishmongers and others not connected to marine industries, mainly from Ishinomaki city in Miyagi Prefecture, one of the areas worst affected.

The core members are 21 men and women including five fishermen, three fishmongers, nine administrative workers and four people who run restaurants. Other members are involved in marine industries in a variety of ways.

ĎWe are a team of people in various marine-related jobs who are creating a new kind of fishing industry, something different and more positive, that can be passed down to future generations,í said Kazuki Doai, International Business Division Head at Fisherman Japan.

Go to Hook & Net for the full two-page report from Tohokuís fishing industry

Source: Hook & Net