Okinawa Tourism Information:ItomanFishingPortBoaststheLargestCatchofSquidinJapan!!!HowAboutThisOne,WhichYoucanGetOnlyOneFromOneSquid?

Itoman Fishing Port Boasts the Largest Catch of Squid in Japan!!! How About This One, Which You can Get Only One From One Squid?

post : 2015.01.26 19:00

I came down to Itoman Fishing Port in Itoman City in the southern part of Okinawa.
The Itoman Fishing Port is the third class fishing port situated in the southernmost and the westernmost of mainland Okinawa.
Actually about this time of the winter season, the Itoman Fishing Port welcomes the peak of catching seiika or squids.

Surprisingly, the Itoman Fishing Port yields the largest catch of squids in Japan!!!
The yearly catch of squids in Okinawa is about 1,800 to about 2,600 tons.
The catch of squids in 2014 is about 2,400 tons, among which about 900 tons were caught in Itoman City, which accounts for about 40 % of the whole.
This is the largest catch not only in Okinawa but also in Japan!

Seiika is an Okinawan dialect for squids, and its Japanese name is sodeika.
Seiika is one of the largest edible cuttlefish, and reaches 1m long and 20 kg of weight.
When they are landed, mainly the trunk of squids are sold at the auction, but even only the trunk parts are so huge!!
I tried to hold one of them, which weighed 12 kg!!  I had a hard time to hold it up only by myself. (Phew!)

The standard weight of trunk of the caught seiika is 7 kg.  Fishermen divide into two: trunks of 7 kg and heavier called ‘magii (meaning big)’ and those of 6 kg or lighter called ‘gunaa (meaning small)’.

Catching the seiika started in full swing in Okinawa 26 years ago.
It is still a new kind of fishing, but currently the seiika is caught the second most in Okinawa after tuna.
Around this time from January to February, the catch is big!
When I visited there for report, fishermen enjoyed a bumper catch!

Fishermen arrive at the port in their boats around 6:30 AM, and continue landing the seiika until right before the auction starts.
Both umimchu (meaning ‘fishermen’) and the auction chief shout aloud.
The vibrant auction is also a must-see!

A fisherman’s wife told me different delicious recipes of the seiika.
And on top of that, she beautifully cut up a whole seiika for me to take it back home with me.
Nifee Deebiru (Okinawan word meaning “Thank you very much)!!

Itoman City, which boasts the biggest catch of the seiika in Japan, carries out a wide range of public relation activities to expand the consumption of the seiika, such as development and events of the seiika processed food.

For two weeks from January 23, Itoman City holds the event called “Nishizaki 6-chome Machi Baru,” where you can enjoy dishes using the seiika in shops in Nishizaki 6-chome in Itoman City and its neighborhood.
You can savor special menu items in each shop, where they use rare parts of the sodeika that are not put on the market, such as the mouth of the squid, the part between the trunk and the caudal fin, etc.  Don’t miss the chance to eat rare parts of the seiika!

On January 24, “Itoman Fair” also starts at the Michi no Eki Itoman, where special products of the seiika are sold as well!  Please stop by here, too!

The mouth of the seiika!!!
Have you ever seen it?
Here it is!  This is it!

It is obviously the mouth. (lol)
They are hardly put on the market because they are taken only one from one squid.

The savory taste of the squid is concentrated in the mouth, and it is very delicious.
After boiling it, you can grill it simply with salt and eat it with mayonnaise or soy sauce, either of which tastes great.
Of course, it goes perfectly well with alcohol!!

The seiika is highly nutritious, and contains two to three times more taurine than what is found in other fish and seashells.
The seiika digests well, so it is recommended for children and elderly people.

Please visit Itoman City, which yields the largest catch of the seiika in Japan, and enjoy eating them!!

Itoman Fishing Port,  Itoman Fisheries Cooperative

Address: 1-4-11, Nishizaki, Itoman City (Okinawa Fisheries Corporation)
TEL: 098-992-0902 (Sales Division)
Registration for fish auction basically starts at 4 AM from Monday to Saturday.
(Individual purchase is not allowed, but you can observe fish auction.)

Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer   0173 (Reina Chinen)