In recent years, Japan’s population has been decreasing, and in 45 prefectures the percentage of the population aged 75 and over has exceeded the percentage of the population aged under 15 (National Population Census, 2021). This page focuses on the industry and Environment in Koshikijima which also has a decreasing population. We will compare this data with past data and introduce some of the efforts being made in Koshikijima.
Koshikishima is an archipelago in the East China Sea with a population of 4,719. It stretches 35 km from northeast to southwest and consist of three islands (Kamikoshiki in the northern part, Nakakoshikishima in the central part, and Shimokoshikishima in the southern part). The main transportation from the Kagoshima mainland to Koshikishima is by high-speed boat and ferry. It takes 50 minutes from Sendai Port to Sato Port by high-speed boat and 75 minutes from Kushikino New Port to Sato Port by ferry.
How much has the number of workers in the primary industry decreased? Primary industries include agriculture, forestry, and fishing. The picture below compares the number of workers in primary industry in 1995, 2010, and 2015. From this picture, we can see that the fishing industry is the most active primary industry on Koshikishima! However, the number of workers in the fishing industry is decreasing year by year. Let’s look at the activities they are doing to keep the industry going and to protect the resources of the sea.
Koshikijima is rich in marine products. So, Koshikijima is good place to enjoy seafood! The fishing industry in Koshikijima is famous for kibinago, which is called Silver-stripe round herring in English. It is a small fish with a stripe-like pattern on its body. According to the business report of the Koshikijima Fisheries Cooperative Association, the total landings by fishing boats amounted to 761 tons, of which 323 tons (42%) were landed by kibinago gill nets and sales of kibinago account for 37% of total sales.
Deep-sea mud shrimp in Koshikijima are also popular. It is also called satsuma shrimp. Below is a picture of people sorting shrimp. The sorted shrimp are frozen and shipped.
KOSHIKI FISHERMANS FEST
Thus, the main industry of the island is fishing. How do they provide information about fish in Koshikijima? One of these is the KOSHIKI FISHERMANS FEST. It is an event that has been held annually since 2016. It is a place where fishermen and consumers can communicate! The theme of the event is “Let’s save Koshikijima’s rich sea for the next generation”. In this event, we can meet fisherfolk and enjoy eating, buying, and learning about fish. By creating a relationship between fisherfolk and consumers, the rich sea of Koshikijima will be preserved for the next generation.
What can we do to protect these important resources? One activity is beach cleanup. When typhoons hit, large amounts of garbage land on the beaches. In order to protect the clean sea, residents regularly clean up the beaches. By maintaining a clean sea, they can protect the fish that live in the sea.
- 甑島・定置網漁師４代目の挑戦～ 甑大橋開通による移動販売への取組 ～http://suigi.jp/fukyu/jisseki/nen/R3%EF%BC%93%E7%94%91%E5%B3%B6%E6%BC%81%E5%8D%94.pdf
- 平成27年 国勢調査 薩摩川内市https://www.city.satsumasendai.lg.jp/www/contents/1300087101977/html/common/other/6315b24f009.pdf