Like many in Sanriku, Iwate Prefecture, Kenichiro Yagi lost his waterfront business in the March 2011 Tohoku disasters. But in an imaginative bid to get his fishery company back online, that's literally what he did: He connected to the internet.

Placing PCs and webcams onboard the four fishing boats recovered from the detritus, Yagi posts details of catches online in real time, offering his consumers fresh fish.

Besides enabling fishermen to work around the lack of a physical marketplace, technology offers an additional sustainability advantage: It matches supply and demand, increasing the chances of unwanted fish being returned to the sea alive.