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Lower Price for Squid Irks Fshermen

Date Posted: 2000-03-05

The Okinawa Fishermen’s Association decision to lower the price of squid they buy from local fishermen resulted in about 300 fishermen staging a protest demonstration against the association’s action on Tuesday. The fishermen staged their day-long protest in front of the Fisheries’ Hall in Naha City.

In Okinawa, the Okinawa Fishermen’s Association buys all catch from the fishermen at set prices and then sells it to retailers and wholesalers with profit. However, the catches of squid have been recently so good that the association has a surplus of squid in their freezers, and officials at the association have decided that the only way to move the product is to cut the price. “People do not buy unless we cut the price, that’s our only choice,” an official said.

The old price the association paid the fishermen was ¥730 per kilo; now it wants to cut the price to ¥650.

Okinawa Prefecture Fishermen’s Association Chairman Chosin Terukina tried to persuade the angry protesters to leave and let the leaders of the association tackle the problem, but they refused. “We will not leave before you put the price up again,” the protesters shouted.

This was not the first time the problem has come up. “We have discussed the price of squid many times in the past, because we always have so much left over. The only way to sell it is to cut the price, or maybe we should consider organizing an auction,” Terukina told the crowd.

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