1975 Volume 4 Issue 2 Pages 83-101
Trolling techniques and strategies of fishermen of ma in northern Japan to catch blue-fin tunas Thunnus thynnus are described. Usage patterns of fishing devices revealed to have ecological, psychological, and social implications. Choice of fish baits depended not only on the environmental factors relevant to the ecology of fish, but also on fishermen's skills which were different among different age groups and individuals. Younger fishermen preferred live baits to dead baits or lures, whereas middle-aged or older ones chose them significantly less frequently. Moreover, the combination of a bait and a line by the latter denoted particular differences and specializations in terms of fishing strategies. Large differences in tuna landings indicating individual variations of skills were apparently related to techniques of trolling gear operation. In spite of an individual-based work, alternating work, exchanging baits, and gifting were important in compensating physiological and technical handicaps through fishermen's interpersonal relationships based on genealogical, generational, and neighboring bondages. The exploitative difference between the coastal and the off-shore fishing grounds, use of baits being more varied in the latter, which were lately developed area, was also referred to as a problem of transmission in a local community of technical and mental skills.