Ocean surrounding Keramas will become national park

The seas off Tokashiki and Zamami islands and other areas in the Kerama archipelago will be designated as a National Park by the end of this year.

Residents of the Keramas are very pleased with the announcement, and say “This is good and helps us increase the number of visitors!” and “This has been our dream for a long, long time!” One resident stated “We have to take care of our ocean much more now as we have a big responsibility.”

After the area is officially designated as a national park, the control authority moves to the central government of Japan.

Tokashiki Village Mayor Masamori Zamami says moving the authority “makes our beautiful ocean safer.” He continues “One of the island’s main businesses is sightseeing, and the designation will increase the number of tourists. We will promote our sightseeing more to Okinawa, mainland Japan and overseas, too.”

Zamami Village Mayor Satoru Miyazato also says “The Kerama ocean is not only ours, but also treasure of the world, and many people try to save the corals in that area. Now with the designation we are able to attract people’s attention much more.”

As a practical matter after the designation, it’s likely that some kind of limitations to fishing and collecting corals will be issued and other steps taken to protest the ocean.