by N. Kishita
Many species live in Kochi. In the species, famous creatures living a clear river in Kochi are exist. One of them is ayu.
Ayu is about 25 cm long and are a fresh water fish living a clear stream in Japan. They live in Shimanto River, Niyodo River, Yasuda River, Monobe River, Shinzyou River, and so on. Ayu comes down the river immediately after they hatch from the spawns, it enters the sea, spends winter, goes back the river again next spring, it parents, and spawn is laid in autumn. The one to go up from spring to summer is called “Noboriayu” and the one that descends the river to lay spawns in autumn is “Otiayu”.
Use & Conservation
The ayu in Kochi is known as a special product of Kochi, and to fish, is visited from summer to autumn by many clients. When making in edible ayu, the ayu might be called “Sweet fish” to have a peculiar smell. Adult fish’s ayu comes to eat the moss that is attached to the stone in the riverbed. So, the ayu that grow up eating the pure moss in a clean river isn’t a bad taste, and we can enjoy a smell the ayu original. Ayu’s cooking method is ayu grilled with salt, candied ayu, ayu sushi, and so on.
“Hifuriryou” done in summer is a traditional fishing method that has been taken over the Niyodo River and Shimanto River now. Hifuriryou can catch ayu by driving in them by the flame of the flambeau that shakes to a dark surface of a river. A fantastic flame that floats on the night of summer is Shimanto River’s poetic events of summer.
However, ayu’s poor catch becomes a serious problem in Shimanto River and Niyodo River, and so on in recent years. The decrease of haul is caused by a decrease of stream flow, the deterioration of the water quality, the change in the river, a decrease in the nursery area place, and the factor such as decreases in fry’s run-up in either river. In an effort to increase their number various activities are done, such as releasing ayu, independent changes of the fishing season of each fishery cooperative, and holding the symposium is done.
Kochi’s ayu is one kind of typical fishes in Kochi, other prefectures’ people also love. It is necessary to do inhabitants of the prefectures best to protect the ayu now since the number of ayu decreases.
Video of “Hifuriryou”