Revitalization of Japan’s Fishing Industry: A Legal Perspective—The Cases of Rishiri and Rebun Islands

  • Mari Koyano


Japan’s fishing industry faces two problems: a decline in overall production and catches of key species, and a decline in the number of fishing industry workers and general aging of the population. These problems represent a threat to the sustainability of Hokkaido’s fishing industry, the cornerstone of Japan’s fishing industry, and of Hokkaido’s coastal and offshore island communities. Focusing on Hokkaido’s Rishiri and Rebun Islands, this chapter considers legislative and policy perspectives relating to the problem of declining catches. The chapter suggests that the enhancement of fisheries resource management beyond existing voluntary measures, based on scientific data and with respect for the experiences of fishing communities, may be the key to promoting sustainable fisheries and ensuring the survival of the local communities that rely on them.


Fishing industry Decline in catches Sustainable fisheries Sustainable development of local communities Hokkaido Rishiri and Rebun Islands Fisheries resource management Decline in number of fishing industry workers Aging of the population of fishing industry workers TAC (total allowable catch) Cultivation and release of juveniles (sea urchins and sea cucumbers) 



The author wishes to express her sincere gratitude to all the individuals concerned at the Center for Research and Promotion of Japanese Islands, the Rishirifuji, Rishiri, and Rebun Town administrations, the Rishiri Island History Museum, the Rishiri Town Museum, the Rebun Town Historical Museum, the Rishiri Fisheries Cooperative Association, the Kafuka Fisheries Cooperative Association, Jinpo Foods (a marine products processing company), the Hokkaido Federation of Fisheries Cooperative Associations, and the Fisheries Section of the Industry Promotion Department, Soya Regional Development Bureau for their assistance in onsite surveys on Rishiri and Rebun Islands, the provision of relevant data and materials, and the checking of information regarding relevant laws during the writing of this chapter.

This chapter presents part of the outcome of research conducted with the assistance of a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research and a Mitsubishi Foundation Research Grant in the Humanities (16H03570).


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mari Koyano
    • 1
  1. 1.Graduate School of Law, The Advanced Institute for Law and Politics GlobalisationHokkaido UniversityHokkaidoJapan

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