Kesennuma, Japan: CITES deal might spell trouble

An international agreement to protect sharks could spell trouble for one tsunami-wrecked port in Japan as it struggles back to its feet two years after being swept away, locals say.

Shinichi Sato said his shark processing business in Kesennuma has only just re-started, but he fears a global vote to regulate trade in several species of the predator could put paid to its recovery.

“We don’t just take fins and dump the fish in the way now criticised by the world,” Sato said on Tuesday as he laid out the boomerang-shape fins to dry in the sun.

“We make very good use of the resources.”

Kesennuma has been Japan’s sharkfin hub since the 19th century, and once dealt with 90 percent of all shark landed in the country.

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Candles flicker, mourners drum for dead in tsunami hit Kesennuma, Japan

Children in a tsunami-devastated town in northeast Japan lit 10,000 candles and banged taiko drums Friday on the eve of "obon," a Buddhist ceremony to honor the dead, as residents struggle to rebuild lives five months after the disaster.

Kesennuma, a scenic fishing town some 400 km 248 miles northeast of Tokyo, was engulfed by fire after it was struck by a magnitude 9.0 quake and a huge tsunami on March 11. The disaster left more than 20,400 dead or missing in Japan, and triggered the worlds worst nuclear crisis in 25 years at Fukushima.

In Kesennuma, about 1,000 out of 73,500 residents died and more than 400 are missing, presumed dead. While police still search, some survivors who lost their loved ones or have waited for their return are now trying to move on.

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Video: Tsunami ravages Kesennuma, Japan

A stunning video posted on YouTube captures the Japan tsunami ravaging the city of Kesennuma, located 300 miles northeast of Tokyo in Miyagi prefecture, was near the epicenter of the March 11 earthquake that triggered the tsunami. The magnitude-9 quake was the strongest ever to strike the nation.

Marine life frozen in time at Japan’s Ice Aquarium

Turn on the TV in Japan and you’re bound to see someone slicing up a tuna on a cooking show while commentators ooh and aah. It’s no wonder, then, that during the current heat wave frying Tokyo, people are heading north for chills and eye candy in the form of giant fish popsicles.

The Kori no Suizokukan (Ice Aquarium) in Kesennuma, northeastern Japan, packs about 450 specimens of marine life frozen in large columns of ice bathed in blue light. Some 80 species, including saury, octopuses, crabs, and skipjack, are preserved in lifelike poses. They seem to be swimming in ice.

Read the rest of the story: Marine life frozen in time at Japan’s Ice Aquarium.