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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
April 27, 2020

Book chapter on Decline and Diversification in Coastal Fisheries

© Jakob Günzler

Based on fieldwork in the prefecture of Saga in Northern Kyushu, this chapter by Sonja Ganseforth explores the struggles of small family fishing businesses and cooperatives dealing with global and national transformations since the 1980s. The emergence of buyer-driven global commodity chains in seafood, the proliferation of large supermarket chains and a re-orientation of consumer preferences constitute a profound shift in the seafood business in Japan. Growing resource problems, high input costs and stagnating fish prices contribute to the declining profitability of local coastal fisheries. Drawing on research on rural experiences of globalization as well as critical analyses of development, growth and sustainability discourses, the chapter “Reclaiming the Global Countryside? Decline and Diversification in Saga Genkai Coastal Fisheries” argues that qualitative reform of fishery cooperatives, marketing and resource management is needed to halt socio-economic decline in Japanese coastal fisheries.
This chapter is part of the volume Japan’s New Ruralities. Coping With Decline in the Periphery (Routledge), co-edited by W. Manzenreiter, R. Lützeler, and S. Polak-Rottmann, and draws on Sonja’s research projects on Japan’s Blue Economies and What Is the Local?