The Transition and Sustainability of a Fishing Community: A Case Study of the Nagashima Community

Masakazu yamauchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper attempts to explain the transition and sustainability of a fishing community by tracing the relations of fishery households and the reproduction mechanism of fishermen. In Japan, the number of coastal fishermen decreased after World War II. Consequently, many fishing communities moved on to other production activities. However, some fishing communities have survived. Nagashima, one of the surviving fishing communities, has been selected as the study area. The results of the research can be summarized as follows. 1. The production activities of the households in Nagashima changed from fishing supplemented by farming or farming supplemented by fishing to fishing alone during the rapid economic growth era after World War II. Consequently, three types of fishery households appeared: Type 1) squid fishing, Type 2) angling, and Type 3) diving apparatus fishery. Each fishery household adapted to management circumstances under such constraints as fishing skills and labor composition, which is dependent upon the family life cycle. 2. Each fishery household has sustained its fishing activity by flexibly using kinship or communal relationships. However, these relationships have always been informal. 3. The reproduction mechanism of fishermen has worked well. From an economic perspective, the successor has played an important role in terms of household income. From a social viewpoint, friendship and social customs have influenced successors. 4. The economic aspect of the reproduction mechanism in Nagashima is more precarious than that in Oro-noshima community, which has the same geographical conditions. Consequently, it is uncertain whether successors will engage in fishing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-509
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Geography
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Nagashima
  • community
  • fishing
  • successor
  • sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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