The major fishing method used on Lake Biwa is known as “waiting." This method doesn’t kill off all the fish in the lake, so people can enjoy a sustainable economic relationship with the lake. People also enjoy eating fish from the lake according to each fish’s characteristics.
Arrow mark on Lake Biwa? -Eri-trap-Arrow shaped and small type set net called Eri-trap is a familiar scene on Lake Biwa. This kind of fixed net fishing method that leads fish to the end of a net maze was brought to Lake Biwa from mainland China at least 1500 years ago.
Arrow mark on Lake Biwa? -Eri-trap-
Arrow shaped and small type set net called Eri-trap is a familiar scene on LakeBiwa. This kind of fixed net fishing method that leads fish to the end of a net maze was brought to Lake Biwa from mainland China at least 1500 years ago.
Fishing at rivers -Yana-trap-
The Yana-trap(a weir) fishing is placed at lower reaches, forming a fan to catch the fish that are swimming into upper reaches. The major catch is sweetfish.
Fishermen of Okishima island
Okishima island, offshore Omihachiman, is the only inhabited fresh water island in Japan. About 300 people live there and there is even an elementary school on the island. Most of the islanders work in the fishing industry and their lives are closely linked to Lake Biwa.
Fish caught from Lake Biwa may be eaten boiled with soy sauce, marinated with vinegar, grilled, cooked in miso (soy paste) soup, as sashimi (raw), pickled, smoked, etc. Biwa salmon, sweetfish, round crucian carp, willow minnow, Seta clam are well known for eating.
The amount of fish caught in Lake Biwa has been decreasing since 1955. To increase the catch, a project to preserve spawning grounds, eliminate invasive foreign species, limit the Great Cormorant numbers, and control water weeds has been initiated.
▲Changes in the total catch of Lake Biwa fisheries (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Fishery, aquaculture industry production statistics)
This page is partly sourced from “Learn about Lake Biwa,” a short handbook of Lake Biwa published by Shiga Prefecture on March, 2018.
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