Norwegian fishermen raising thousands of kroners for Japanese quake victims –

Norwegian fishermen raising thousands of kroners for Japanese quake victims Published:  22 March, 2011

NORWEGIAN fishermen have started a major fund raising initiative for the victims of the Japanese earthquake.

Fiskebat, the Norwegian Fishing Vessel Owners’ Association, has launched the campaign among its pelagic trawlers. Norway is a major exporter of pelagic fish to Japan.

The aim is to channel the funds directly to the many fishing communities that have been devastated by both the quake and the tsunami which followed it, washing away entire ports and hundreds of fishing boats. Hundreds, probably thousands, of fishermen and their families are also thought to have lost their lives in the disaster.

A spokeswoman for the fishing vessel owners said they would use their contacts in the Far East to establish fishing towns that are in the most urgent need of help.

Fiskebat described the affects of the disaster as “unfathomable” and said it would challenge other sectors of the Norwegian fishing industry to join in with the fund raising.

Already, just a few days after the campaign was launched, funds have started to roll in. It is understood all pelagic vessels are being encouraged to each raise at least 10,000 Kroners (around £1,200).

Fiskebat chairman Tore Roald Suresnes said he wanted the Norwegian fleet to show solidarity with the victims. “Such gifts of money may seem like a drop in the ocean compared to the challenge facing Japan, but it will provide many with a helping hand in a very difficult situation,” he added. “The most important thing of all is to show that we care.”

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Seattle Times reports that northwest fishing companies, which have historic ties to the seafood industry in the devastated Japanese city of Sendai, are searching for ways to assist in the long and difficult recovery faced by their Japanese colleagues. The Pacific Northwest fishing industry has historic ties to the devastated Japanese city of Sendai, which has served as a hub for processing, storage and distribution of pollock, flatfish and other seafood products caught in the North Pacific off Alaska.