INFOFISH feature article with Dr. Yinji Li

Umigyo in small-scale fisheries in Japan

In a recent feature article with INFOFISH, TBTI Japan coordinator Yinji Li cautiones against the fisheries legislation that emphasize economic efficiency and threaten the sustainability of small-scale fisheries. She argues for the need to embrace the principle of Umigyo as a way to revitalize Japanese coastal communities and fishery systems.

Although it has received a lot of attention in recent years, the topic of fisheries sustainability isn’t new. Despite years of research, it is still difficult to achieve sustainability in many fisheries, and the discussions seem never-ending; but for the future of our planet, it is imperative that we change our food production systems. There is a growing interest in small-scale fisheries and recognition of how crucial they are to the development of sustainable fishery systems. One of the most intriguing and possibly among the best replicable models could lie in Japan’s small-scale fisheries and their unique “Umigyo” way to protect life below the water by protecting life above water.”