The government on Tuesday approved an application by the Miyagi Prefectural Government to set up a special fishery zone, Reconstruction Minister Takumi Nemoto said.
The approval was the first for a special fishery zone.
“We hope (the special zone) will contribute to revitalizing the local fishing industry and economy as well as development of local communities,” Nemoto said at a news conference.
The program is intended to aid in the early reconstruction of fish-farming operations hit by the March 2011 disasters by giving fishing rights, which have been allocated preferentially to fisheries cooperatives, to private businesses.
Miyagi filed the application April 10. The special zone covers part of the Momonoura district in Ishinomaki, which was devastated by the March 2011 tsunami.
The local fisheries cooperative is opposed to the special zone, saying that it will split local fishermen and hamper reconstruction efforts.