Contributed by Elaine Masters
Among the devastating casualties from the Fukushima nuclear reactor tragedy is the regional Japanese fishing industry. Japan loves seafood and finding new sources to prepare favorite recipes and help keep restaurants open has spurred international relationships with other fish suppliers such as Catalina Offshore Products.
Catalina Offshore owner Dave Rudie recently met with several Japanese buyers and a processor whose lives had been upended by the earthquake and the reactor meltdown nearly three years ago. The group met up in Seattle to learn more about Washington’s green sea urchin fishery. Most American markets prize the larger, red urchins, but in Japan, the small, green species are more popular.
The small contingent traveled to Friday Harbor by passenger ferry, where they met Anacortes-based diver and processor Chris Clark. Under gray skies they ventured with Clark’s crew into the harbor on a small dive boat and soon were sampling freshly cracked green sea urchins.
Tragedies take time to overcome. In the meantime, we are happy that our ties in the northwest and across the sea can help keep Japanese sushi bars open and families fed.
Elaine masters is a seafoodie, freelance travel writer, blogger/vlogger, and podcast host.