August 3, 2016: Akkeshi Fishery and Tsurui Village

Today, we visited the Kushiro Port where we met representatives from the Kushiro City Fishery Department and Fishery Cooperative Association. We learned about various fishery cooperatives and rights as well as the financial and ethical statuses of the fishing industry in Kushiro.

We learned about the various types of fishing techniques that are very interesting such as the surrounding type of net and the luring through light beams. These things go to show that humans are most innovative in adapting around their environment for the sake of survival – the consequences of those actions are left to worry about later.

For lunch, we had a wonderful spot at the Kushiro Wetland Observatory where we ate our food outside. We had to eat fast because of our time constraints but I was still able to grab myself the local special, Tancho Crane soft cream. It was delicious but it didn’t look like the nird at all.

Our next stop was at the Tsurui Ito Tancho Sanctuary – there we met Mr. Harada and Mr. Suzuki, both of which kindly explained the currently odd situation of the Tancho crane. Despite its parasitic nature to human society (especially towards the farming industry), the crane is highly protected by the conservation society. This has brought up a lot of controversy and conflict among the locals. Furthermore, the cranes are completely attached to humans – meaning that they rely on them for food during the winter in feeding stations. 

In order to understand more about those affected by these cranes, we went to visit Mr. Fujiwara’s ranch. He’s an industrial dairy farmer who often meets these cranes on his ranch feeding his crops or his cow’s food. He, along with Mr. Harada and Mr. Saka, are hoping to minimize these happenings in the future. 

For our last stop, we had to climb up a 5 minute stairway up the Kottaro Observatory. There we had a spectacular view of the wetlands below us. It was a great way to end the day.

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