Miyako construction leads to red soil runoff to sea

Miyakojima City port workers are accusing a construction company of causing red soil runoff into the ocean waters around the Maja Fishing Port in Nishihara-Hirara district of Miyakojima City, but the Miyako Environmental Preservation Center says the allegations are not true.

Tadashi Ikema says there’s no relationship between the red soil and construction of an industrial waste processing facility on the west side of the seashore, saying “we are taking red soil countermeasures on the basis of guidance from Okinawa Prefecture. The red soil is not coming from our construction site, and I think the red soil is running out from surrounding land.”

The Nishihara Ship Owners’ Association, a group organized by people who work at the fishing port, say red soil began appearing in the sea around the beginning of June. They say the red soil had not been flowing to the sea before start of the construction. The association is demanding that officials consult with the construction contractor because “if the red soil continues to run, the coral in the area will die and we cannot get fish and shellfish.”

An owners association official says of the current conditions, “we don’t know who bears responsibility for the soil running, but we hope the contractor would have started the work after concluding an agreement with local fishermen.”