Tanoura Gindachi

Tanoura Gindachi

Registration Number 88
Name of the GI Tanoura Gindachi
Class Fish and Shellfish
Date of Protection 2019/12/10
Producing Area Kumamoto Prefecture
Seas off the coast of Tanoura, Ashikita Town, Ashikita County, and surrounding waters (Yatsushiro Sea)
Applicant – Name and Address

Ashikitamachi Gyogyo Kyodo Kumiai (Ashikitamachi Fisheries Cooperative)

426-3 oaza Tanouramachi, Ashikita Town, Ashikita County, Kumamoto Prefecture

Producing Area

Tanoura Gindachi is cutlass fish that is caught only by line fishing and landed at Tanoura Fishing Port in Ashikita Town, Kumamoto Prefecture.
 This slender fish is fleshy and fatty but has umami specific to white fish, and is characterized by its shiny, beautiful silvering skin.
 The high quality of Tanoura Gindachi is highly appreciated from the market. Especially at local wholesale market, it is traded at prices 50% higher than cutlass fish from other places.

Tanoura Gindachi is caught off the coast of Tanoura, Ashikita Town, Ashikita County, Kumamoto Prefecture, and surrounding waters (Yatsushiro Sea (1)).
 The fishing technique is specified to be trolling (2) or handlining (3). Once pulled out of water, for preserving freshness, cutlass fish are unhooked without touching the body of the fish by holding only the hook with hand and then twisting the wrist. Then, they are steeped in seawater cooled with ice, etc. and stored in a cold container.
 Cutlass fish landed at Tanoura Fishing Port are promptly packed in shipping boxes.

Yatsushiro Sea is a closed inland sea surrounded by the mainland of Kyushu and the Amakusa Islands(4). Thanks to the nutrients flowing in from Kuma River (5), the sea is very fertile and rich with small fish, such as sardines. As abundant feed is available throughout the year in Yatsushiro Sea, cutlass fish has quality flesh.
 Tanoura area is located at the center of the seasonal south-north migration route of cutlass fish in Yatsushiro Sea. Under such geographical conditions, line fishing techniques for effectively catching cutlass fish have been established in the region.
 Local fishermen continued their efforts to ensure that cutlass fish are caught through the unique fishing techniques and freshness is preserved, and in 2001, cutlass fish caught and shipped by this method were named Tanoura Gindachi.
 As of 2020, there are 27 fishermen who land Tanoura Gindachi, and in addition to their daily fishing and shipping activities, they make an organized effort to release small cutlass fish.

  1. Yatsushiro Sea: An inland sea off the west coast of Kyushu, the third largest island of Japan's five main islands, extending over Kumamoto Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture, and connecting to the Ariake Sea to the north and the East China Sea to the south. With the inlet having deeply indented coastline, or rias, Yatsushiro Sea is said to be the most closed inland sea in Japan.
  2. Trolling: A fishing technique where a fishing vessel pulls a multi-branched trolling line with hooks attached to each branch.
  3. Handlining: A fishing technique where a fisherman manipulates a line with a hook.
  4. Amakusa Islands: A group of a little over 120 islands of varying size off the west coast of Kyushu, extending over Kumamoto Prefecture and Kagoshima Prefecture. The main islands are Kamishima and Shimoshima. The islands are connected to the mainland by the Five Bridges of Amakusa opened in 1966, and are a popular tourist and beach destination during peak summer season.
  5. Kuma River: The largest river in Kumamoto Prefecture, flowing from Hitoyoshi Basin to Yatsushiro Plain in southern Kumamoto Prefecture and emptying into Yatsushiro Sea. It is 115 km long and is one of the three most rapid rivers of Japan along with Mogami River and Fuji River. It is also well known nationwide for its large and delicious ayu (sweetfish).

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