Fishing Again in Japan
By Bill Horan
Operation Blessing International
Thousands of small fishing boats were lost in the tsunami. We tried to buy new boats right away, but boat builders in Japan were inundated with government orders and quoting a two-year delivery. We searched the whole country and bought as many good used boats and motors as we could find. We came up with 40, but needed more.
I hired a small boat builder in Maine who was happy to have some work. He and I worked with the OB Japan team and two guilds of fishermen elders to design the hull exactly the way they wanted it for fishing as well as oyster and seaweed farming: nearly flat on the bottom for (stand-up) stability and a step built into the stern for ease of operating in reverse. We ordered 20 boats with Yamaha motors and shipped them over in sea containers.
The fishermen loved them! Later we had larger boats built in China and found more good used ones in country. In all, we supplied 90 fishing boats and motors plus many truckloads of gear.
Mr. Miura was one of the happy fishermen who received a Maine-built boat. I met with him today and he said his boat is “the luckiest boat in the harbor.” This morning he and his partner captured 110 salmon weighing eight to ten pounds apiece. At $3.50 per pound they grossed about $3,400. When salmon season ends in December, he will shift into harvesting his seaweed crop and is also going to try raising scallops for the first time. Mr. Miura is emblematic of the fishermen we have been able to bless.
We didn’t teach Mr. Miura how to fish. His father and grandfather did that. What our donors did, was give him back the tools that the tsunami took away.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help by making an online donation toward CBN’s Operation Blessing International’s disaster relief efforts. With your support, we can continue to provide emergency relief and recovery. Please make an online donation today.
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