Fishermen from Karakuwa-cho undertook a study visit to Tokyo’s world famous Tsukiji Central Fish Market as part of the Al Furdha project’s latest efforts to rebuild and preserve the region’s rich fishing heritage. With the Al Furdha project focusing on developing sea food production and distribution in partnership with Michelin star chefs and food companies, the study tour was intended to expose fishermen to some of the leading minds, processes, and practices at the heart of one of the international seafood industry’s most experienced global distribution centres. The trip was combined with visits to some of Tokyo’s famed seafood restaurants - prompting visits by cooperative members to discuss cooperation with retailers in Matsushima city.
Despite below average fishing prospects over the past few months, fishermen remained undeterred in their pursuit of new business opportunities and achieved sales of more than 1 million Japanese Yen. Other activities undertaken by the project team and members of the fishing cooperatives established under the US2.1 million Al Furdha project, include hosting the President and Vice President of project lead – the Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development – as well as attendance at food permit workshops, and profitability assessments for the subcontracting of whelk processing for AP Company, as part of a potential deal to handle sea quirts for Hachiyo Suisan. Samples have also been provided to major restaurant and supermarket chains in Saitama and Iwate, while ongoing discussions with a sushi restaurant in Tokyo and a food department operated by Yahoo! Japan, are just a few of the many highlights of the project. Two jobs were created to meet demand.