ScreenHunter_269 Sep. 15 15.49

The ports around the Chiba-area city of Choshi were last year honored for the fourth year in a row for having the largest catch of mackerel pike (a very popular fish known as sanma in Japanese) in Japan.

But that’s of little comfort to local fishermen who have this year found their boats stranded in a literal sea of garbage and debris that has been carried into the ports from the Tonegawa River. The heavy flooding of the Kanto region brought about by last week’s relentless rain is believed to be the cause of the sudden influx of waste.

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Twitter users began uploading photos of the scene around Septemper 10, and the blanket of detritus covering the surface of the water around ports one through three has only gotten worse since. At least as of September 12, the ports remain so choked with garbage and other flotsam that the waters literally resemble solid ground.

Area fishermen are at a loss for what to do, as—even assuming it possible to deploy fishing nets in such conditions—local authorities have warned captains not to start their boats’ engines, for fear the machinery could become clogged with floating debris.

Officials have also said conditions could continue to worsen over the coming days as the Tonegawa continues to deposit the last clusters of floating waste into the port waters, where there is no notable current to carry the waste back out to sea.

City residents and fishermen are understandably worried, as the ports and the fishing boats leaving from them account for much of the city’s livelihood. Area workers say the fishing season had just begun on September 4.

Source: Huffington Post Japan
Top Image: Twitter/@sid_vicious1979