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Fishing Boats at Kesennuma Port

Fishing Boats at Kesennuma Port

Let’s learn about the major fishing boats that land their catches in Kesennuma.

Inshore Tuna Longline Fishing Boat (fig.①)
A longline over 100 kilometers long is tied with 3,000 to 4,000 ropes with hooks attached and dropped into the sea to catch tuna. The baits used are saury, mackerel, and other fishes. This form of fishing is done throughout the year off the coast of Sanriku (250km stretch of coast from Miyagi Prefecture to northern Aomori Prefecture), and the number of swordfish and sharks landed in Kesennuma is the largest in Japan.

Pole-And-Line Bonito Fishing Boats and Purse Seiners(fig.②)
Fishing boats from Miyazaki, Kochi, and Mie catch bonito using pole and line fishing, one fish at a time, as they sail northward across the Pacific Ocean from spring to fall. Bonito fishing is also done by purse seiners, which trap the fish in nets. In 2021, the weight of fresh bonito landed in Kesennuma was approximately 34,900 tons, marking 25 consecutive years of landing the largest volume in Japan.

Stick-Held Dip Net Pacific Saury Fishing Boats(fig.③)
Taking advantage of the habit of Pacific saury to gather around lights, the fishing boats use fishing lights at night to lure schools of saury into the nets. LEDs are now being used for the fishing lights. Fishing begins in the summer off the eastern coast of Hokkaido and moves south to the coast of Sanriku in the fall. The largest catch in Japan is landed at Hanasaki Port in Hokkaido. Kesennuma competes with Ofunato and Onagawa for the largest catch in Honshu.

*Markings of ship’s registry
These markings can be found on ships’ hulls. MG stands for Miyagi, IT for Iwate, KO for Kochi, ME for Mie, and MZ for Miyazaki. The numbers that follow indicate the size of the boats.

Example: MG1 – ×××××
M → Miyagi Prefecture
1 → Class 1 vessel (power fishing boat with a capacity of 100 tons or more)
xxxxx → Registration No.

*Tons refer to volume rather than weight, indicating the capacity inside of the vessel.