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Beaches & Bamboo

I always come across bamboo on my beach. One day I finally asked my husband (who sometimes lends a hand to the local fisherman) what they are used for. His reply was simple: "For the nets".

Apparently the bamboo are used as flag poles for the beginning and end of the gill nets placed close to shore. The red (often orange) flags shows where the nets begin and the white flags show where the gill nets end. On each flag is written the name of the boat that owns the nets.

The bamboo is skewered through a buoy and to the bottom is fastened steel or lead weights and to the flag is clipped the top of the gill nets.

Endosan's boat

Here are some more visuals of bamboo being used in the ports and fishing boats.

Hundreds of bamboo poles sit at this port.

"But what about those over there?" I asked, pointing towards the bay. "Not sure. Oysters? Yeah oysters. Better call Endo", he said as pulled his cellphone out and called the fisherman. During the call we found out that bamboo is also used for oyster beds and seaweed. All along the coast are hundreds of bamboo poles aligned like fencing that provide a row for oysters and seaweed to cling to and grow. So whenever there are storms or strong currents, some of these bamboo polls make their way to the beach.

The oyster beds use large thick bamboo that are 6 inches in diameter. The seaweed use bamboo that is more thin with a 1-3 inch diameter.

Satisfied with the answers we kept walking.

"It looks junky but hey, at least they aren't plastic" my husband said.

"Yeah that's nice that they use biodegradable materials."I agreed as we appreciated the centuries old technique of using cheap harder available materials for work.

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Thanks for clearing up this mystery. When I lived in Japan near the Seto Inland Sea, I would often see stray pieces of bamboo along the shoreline. Since the area had many small fishing villages, it now makes sense to me.

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