This paper is prepared as the keynote speech of the 50th Anniversary Symposium on “Multifunctionality of Local Fisheries and Fishing Community”, held in 2008. The purpose of this symposium was to identify effective approach to revitalization of fishing community which had been disadvantageous position under global economy, from a viewpoint of multifunctionality. Firstly, the externality of local fisheries and fishing community was discussed, while referring to the society’s demand for sustaining it. Secondly, how fishers and resource users contributed to the society as a whole was assessed. It was highly appreciated that they and their society played an important role in conservation of coastal environment and resources. Thirdly, local society transformed some contents of externality into economic resources which would be useful for local economy. People were trying to develop “multifunctionality.” Fisheries policy also made much effort to keep multi-functionality, focusing on unfavorable condition of remote islands and conservation of coastal environment and resources. Under the WTO resume, people were encouraged to increase by-product of fisheries, without any incentive to increase fisheries production.
I have made a study of the history of how the multiple functions of fisheries administration have been categorized. They were first categorized as far back as 1987. In an interim report prepared by a study committee on problems facing fisheries, their roles in Japan were initially placed into five categories: (1) securing a stable supply of marine products, (2) providing opportunities to earn income and find employment, (3) preserving the marine environment, (4) passing on fishing traditions and the way of life, and (5) providing sites for marine recreation. I also traced the history of this classification through White Papers on fisheries published since 1987 and found that most of these functions had been identified in the first stages of classification.
This paper aims to clarify the history of the measures taken to support the multiple functions of fisheries administration. The economic evaluation of multiple functions was first made in 1996, but there was a lack of systematic action on them until they were specifically laid out in Fisheries Basic Act, 2001. Although it was a follow-up action from the agriculture and forestry industries, a grant system was adopted, with the first financial support provided to revive fishing on isolated islands in 2005. A system for supporting environmental and ecological preservation activities is also scheduled to be launched in 2009. There is another system, called Support for Advanced Farming, which is similar to the latter support system mentioned above and is designed to provide grants for distribution to individual farmers to improve the environmental preservation of farming land and water. In fisheries, however, no such grant system had even been considered. I therefore examined the potential for establishing a grant system to compensate for increased costs and declining revenues resulting from external diseconomies, while accepting that external uneconomic factors affect certain areas of the fishing and aquaculture industries.
The purpose of this paper is to clarify the present situation and problems of policy for revitalizing fisheries in remote islands, with focusing on keeping multi-functionality of fisheries and fishing community. This paper also assesses whether or not the policy is effective. Multi-functionality is closely linked to fisheries production, as by product. Therefore, there should be fisheries producers being responsible for sustainable production. In this aspect, the policy for revitalizing fisheries in remote islands have negative appraisal. A number of fishing communities applying this policy has concentrated their activities on “cleaning beach” through community-based collaboration. It has not brought enough support to make fishers increase their production. This paper will emphasize the importance of interlocking relationship between increase in production and raise of multi-functionality.
The sea area environment is destroyed with the seabed litters. The fishing net and the body of fish are damaged by the seabed litters. The fishing time increases by the collection of the seabed litters.
In Seto Inland Sea, many fishermen collect the seabed litters as seabed cleanings of many fishery cooperatives at “Ocean Day” etc. When the small-scale trawling fishery operates routinely, the fishermen collect the seabed litters in the Hinase-cho fishery cooperative in Okayama Prefecture etc., though it is still few. In late years, the garbage stations of the seabed litters collection were being set up by Okayama Prefecture in the whole cities in the coast. The collection of the sea bed litters by the small-scale trawling fishery was begun by the consignment of the city in Onomichi City.
The seabed litters are a lot of petrochemical products such as the plastic bags and empty cans which flowed in from the land. The seabed litters which the fishermen collected are very little the fishery-related seabed litters. Therefore, the seabed litters which the fishermen collected are the municipal waste, not industrial waste of the fishery. It is important to carry the seabed litters into the waste treatment plant by the administration. So that the seabed litters may move by the current etc., the collection and processing system of the seabed litters including not only the coast municipality but also prefectures and the country are needed.
Among fishery multi-functionalities, coral reef conservation is inseparably related to fisheries management. In Yaeyama, fishermen utilize “Remote Islands Revitalize Grant” with many activities. The coral reefs there have been threatened by mass-bleaching, red soil run-off, excess nutrient inflow, or crown of thorns starfish. Although coral transplanting has become popular recently, it has many conceptual and technical issues. The Sekisei-lagoon Nature Restoration Council is conducting many conservation activities. However these activities are not linked well to fisheries management. Coral-reef-fish catch has rapidly decreased in Yaeyama. Although the main cause may be over fishing, coral reef devastation would be related. The fishermen have managed reef fish stocks using marine protected areas and fish size limits as management tools and recreational fishers and divers are included in the management.
The purpose of this article is to reconsider the relation between sustainability and multi-function of fishing village, in the case of Erimomisaki, Hokkaido. Fishers in this village were trying hard to plant desertification eras with trees. This tree planting project was success and the benefit for fishers, increasing sea tangle (Laminaria angustata) and fishing resources, are large. But the other, the increasing seals (P.vitulina) occurred wildlife nuisance. So, Fishers protest against the idea to designate the seal as a precious nature treasure for wildlife protection. Instead of that, they try to live together their own way. Through this case, this article discusses that one of the point to revitalize multi-function is to have own perspective of sustainable community life.