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Recycled materials now in use for Ie Island fish traps

Date Posted: 2008-04-09

Ie Island fishermen are turning to something new to increase their catches.
The local fishermen are the first in Japan to try new fish traps made with old tires, old fishing nets and concrete to create artificial reef-like traps. The recycled materials have been fabricated into traps, and are now at the bottom of the sea, waiting for fish to come.
Chiaki Yamashiro, an Onna Village native, is credited with inventing the artificial reef fishing traps. He obtained Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries approval for the traps almost a year ago, and set about building the odd shaped reefs. A fishing trap consists of three old tires arranged in triangular fashion, about one meter high. Old fish nets are woven around the tires, and then weighted with concrete.
Once dropped into 15 meter deep waters, the traps become homes to fish, who love to swim and hide in the tires, Yamashiro says. The traps have holes for the fish to go in, but not out. He says squid love to venture into the traps.
“We’ve always had a problem with used tires,” says Ie Village Mayor Katsumasa Oshiro, “and we wondered how to dispose of them. Now we can make the fishing traps with old tires.” Oshiro called it “a miracle for us, and we hope these new fish nets will bring our fishermen more business.”

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