It has been 15 days and a month since the large-scale eruption of a submarine volcano off the coast of Tonga, an island country in the South Pacific Ocean.

The removal of debris washed away by volcanic ash and tsunami has not progressed locally, and there are concerns that the impact on the fishery industry, one of Tonga's main industries, will be prolonged.

In Tonga, a large-scale eruption of a submarine volcano that occurred on the 15th of last month caused damage such as the withering of crops due to volcanic ash and the washing of ships by the tsunami.

According to the Tonga government's 2015 data, 86% of all households in Tonga, including side jobs, are engaged in agriculture and 15% are engaged in the fishery industry, both of which are major industries in the country.

Of these, in the fishery industry, ships and equipment used for fishing and aquaculture were washed away by the tsunami, and many fishery-related people are unable to resume their business.

In addition, one month after the eruption, volcanic ash is still floating in the sea, debris is not being removed, and there are concerns about the impact on the ecosystem.

FAO = Director of the Pacific Islands Regional Branch of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said in an online interview with NHK, "The impact on the marine ecosystem may be prolonged, and it will take more than three years for the fishery to fully recover. There is a possibility, "he said, saying that cooperation from international organizations and neighboring countries is indispensable for understanding the damage situation and recovering.

"Mozuku" cultivation continues to be affected

Masahiro Kawaguchi, a second-generation Japanese, produces "Mozuku" in Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga, and exports about 100 tons to Japan every year.

Kawaguchi's company is the only company in Tonga that produces mozuku since the late 1990s, when Kawaguchi's Japanese father started a business to export mozuku from Tonga to Japan when it was poor in Japan. ..

In a telephone interview with NHK, Mr. Kawaguchi said, "All the mozuku that I was raising was washed away by the tsunami. Volcanic ash is floating in the sea, and houses that collapsed due to the tsunami flowed into the mozuku farm, and debris is still there. "I'm accumulating," he explained, and one month after the eruption, the effects are still being affected by volcanic ash and debris.

Mr. Kawaguchi's company says that it will start producing mozuku every year from July, but the tsunami washed away equipment such as nets used for aquaculture, and the seawater was contaminated with volcanic ash and debris, which is normal. It is unclear whether production can be done.

Mr. Kawaguchi said, "Customers may be separated due to concerns about the effects of volcanic ash. In order to resume exports, we would like to check the pollution status of seawater to see if we can maintain safe quality." I was talking.