IWAKI - Trial catches of abalone have begun along the southern coast of Fukushima Prefecture.
After the seafood is deemed safe in inspections for radioactive substances, it will be sold at a local fish market.
Three fishermen belonging to a fishing association for abalone in Iwaki in the prefecture left port on a small boat in the early morning of May 19.
They dove to a depth of three to four meters about 100 meters off the coast, where they caught 12 abalone altogether.
Fisherman Hideto Yanagiba, 48, said, "I feel relieved to be able to fish again after such a long time."
The trial catches are limited to specific kinds of fish and waters. May 19 marked the first trial catch by diving, and brought the number of fish on the list to 32.
Kuniyuki Tanno, head of the association, said delightedly, "We took a step forward in reconstruction."