YAMADA, Iwate — The storm that struck Japan last week devastated seaweed cultivation facilities in this town still reeling from the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Local fish farmers were forced to give up on harvesting wakame and other seaweed at cultivation facilities in Yamada, Iwate Prefecture, when this year’s harvesting season had just reached its peak.
The damage has dealt a serious blow to those farmers, who saw over 200 seaweed cultivation facilities in the Oura district of Yamada devastated by the tsunami on March 11 last year.
In August last year, fish farmers had managed to resume cultivation using 136 of the 200 tsunami-damaged facilities — more than one month later than usual years.
However, last week’s ultra low-pressure system caused further damage to about one-third of the resumed facilities, with high waves leaving wakame tangled with each other and washing driftwood onto the facilities.
“I was shocked as I’d expected that I would be able to harvest seaweed for a week or so, but it’s better than losing everything to the tsunami,” said a 50-year-old fish farmer from the Oura district.