Miyagi Prefecture is proud to cultivate the second largest volume of oysters in Japan. Volunteers are active helping to collect scallop shells to use for the cultivation of oysters. This is especially important as the recovery of the fishing industry is vital for the local community, yet many local residents working on this are elderly people living in temporary housing or partially damaged houses.
Peace Boat activities to support the local fishing industry in the Ishinomaki area were carried out in 16 coastal locations in Ogatsu and the Oshika Peninsula, on 160 days in 2011. Throughout 2011, a total of 10,300 volunteers (7,757 Peace Boat regular and short-term volunteers (including international volunteers) and 2,543 corporate volunteers) took part in this operation.
While providing assistance for aqua-farming season may be restarted in 2012, Peace Boat would first like to extend our appreciation to all those who participated in activities this year, and report on the results of 2011.
The Ishinomaki port and surrounding areas are some of the areas most severely affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami. Many factories and industries affiliated with fisheries suffered serious damage. This is a report of relief being carried near the ports, focusing on the Mitsuwa Seihyo Ice Factory, to eventually lead to the recovery of the fishing industry.
A volunteer team from the Malaysian Association of Youth Club (MAYC) spent five days in Ishinomaki between 18-22 October, working together with the local community to help support the recovery of the local fishing industry.
To date, international volunteers from 49 countries have worked together with Peace Boat.
The 20 members of the Malaysian Association of Youth Club were in their 20s-40s, and came all the way from Malaysia to contribute to supporting Japan. Having experience in disaster relief activities in their own country, they were able to play a large role in the activities, particularly supporting the recovery of the local fishing industry.
As the local needs change with every day, the Peace Boat volunteers are also required to adapt to developments in their varied activities. This report follows Cleaning Team Assistant Director Ichijo Kenji for a day. Mr Ichijo, known as Mantle, has been in Ishinomaki since March 21 when he travelled ahead to prepare to receive the first 50 volunteers, and since then has been responsible for debris clearance and home cleaning activities.
Peace Boat first got to know Mr Nakazato on July 2 at the Ogatsu Recovery Market. He is a fisherman in Funakoshi, a small village with a population of 320 before the disaster. In the tsunami most homes and storehouses were washed away, but miraculously Mr Nakazato’s property survived. That’s why he puts himself last and is working tirelessly to help his fellow fishermen.
As northeast Japan is a major fishing area, the tsunami threatened the livelihood for a majority of the population.
In the face of having their boats and fishing areas destroyed, local fishermen and women are now facing the difficult choice of giving up their work or trying to once again continue. Upon request, Peace Boat is now undertaking efforts to help to support those who have decided to stay in the area and continue to try to fish, through helping to gather the different equipment such as nets, ropes and buoys that were dispersed and damaged by the tsunami.