Japan Boat Tour Reveals Glowing Mystery of Firefly Squid

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A fisherman raises a net of firefly squid glowing blue off the coast of Namerikawa, Toyama Prefecture, before dawn on Saturday.

TOYAMA — The “mystery of Toyama Bay” stems from its bluish-white glow. To find out what causes this luminescence, the Firefly Squid Boat Tour takes visitors on predawn cruises for a limited time each year.

The tour began seasonal operations Saturday with 70 tourists. At around 2:30 a.m., two sightseeing boats carrying the tourists trailed fishing vessels that had departed from Namerikawa Fishing Port. The boats headed about 1.5 kilometers offshore to observe firefly squid fishing at close range.

The fishermen lifted their nets to reveal the mystery. The firefly squid caught in the nets glowed a fantastic blue and white, stirring the tourists into a round of applause.

“I was surprised at how furious the firefly squid moved,” said a 7-year-old from Chiba who took part in the tour with his family. “The blue glow was beautiful.”

The cruise continues through May 7.