Ishikawa Pref. Fishing Ports Far from Recovery After Noto Quake; Dredging Work Underway

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Earth and sand removal work is underway at Wajima Port, where the ground was elevated during the Noto Peninsula Earthquake.

Fishing ports in Ishikawa Prefecture were hit hard by the 2024 Noto Peninsula Earthquake. The ground is elevated at many ports, leaving them with little prospect of recovery even two months after the massive quake.

There are 69 fishing ports in the prefecture. There is damage at 60 of them, nearly 90% of the total, including the collapse of seawalls and jetties. Ground upheaval has been confirmed at 22 ports, mainly located on the western side of the peninsula, and local fishermen have been unable to leave port.

Meanwhile, at least 233 fishing boats have been damaged, with 146 of them either capsized or sunk, and 28 others having been swept away.

In the Okunoto region, the northernmost region of the peninsula, there are fishing ports where damage surveys have yet to be completed, meaning that there is likely more damage than is currently known.

At Wajima Port in Wajima, where the depth of the port became shallower due to ground upheaval, about 200 fishing vessels remain stuck. The removal of earth and sand has been underway since mid-February to make a depth of about 3 meters.

At Iida Port in Suzu, the removal of capsized fishing boats and wave-dissipating concrete blocks has been carried out by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry to secure a sea route for the transport of disaster relief goods.

The engine of a fishing boat owned by a 66-year-old fisherman based in Iida Port was submerged during the disaster. The crab-fishing season, from November through March, is when he would make the most of his yearly proceeds, but he is unable to go fishing. “I’ve poured my entire life into crab fishing. I want to get the port and my boat back to how they were and go back to fishing.”

The prefecture and other entities have been supporting local fishermen by subsidizing the expenses of buying fishing vessels and gear.