Densho Digital Archive
Densho Visual History Collection
Title: Toshio Moritsugu Interview
Narrator: Toshio Moritsugu
Interviewer: Tom Ikeda
Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
Date: March 2, 2011
Densho ID: denshovh-mtoshio-01-0002

<Begin Segment 2>

TI: So what kind of fishing did they do?

TM: Well, (...) he did net fishing. And that means you had to get about five people, roughly five people. They go overnight, have a boat that's big enough to hold a net and them. They lay the net around certain parts of the ocean, actually around the shore. And it's an overnight situation and then the fish get trapped in there. They retract the fish, and that's one type of fishing he did.

TI: And so when you say they have boats that go out, how far away from shore are they going?

TM: Apparently, Kaneohe bay is a huge shoreline. It can go for miles, which means that they had to use a motorboat and maybe travel one or two miles, find a spot, and stay overnight there with the net down. And it took some planning and there were favorite spots that they went to and that's one type of net fishing they did. Another was what they call "pull net," which meant that they had a huge net that made a big circle around a particular area and from both ends of the net, they dragged the net in until you come to the (pocket) and fish trapped in there would be retrieved. And that was not time consuming, it took about maybe forty-five minutes to do one netting, which meant that overnight they could have done five or six, which meant that they went to different spots. And that was really (...) the most important fishing for them. And then the third type of fishing was what they called akule fishing, which meant that they had to go into the deep ocean and the net would be about eight feet high. And when the akule school of fish is found around the ocean, they surround the akule, make a big circle, and then because the net is not deep enough, they start pounding from the top to send the akule down, and the akule would get trapped in there and they would pull the net up, which meant that the net was quite long. And when they caught a school of akule, it meant hundreds of pounds, which meant that they had all the neighbors to help, getting the akule released from the nets.

TI: And so neighbors, meaning they'd have to drag the net all the way to shore?

TM: No, no. The neighbors came in after they returned to shore (...). Actually it was a village and you had other fishermen and wives and they were quite friendly, cooperative. So they helped each other out.

TI: Okay, so it was a very cooperative effort so if there was a big catch, everyone came down and helped.

TM: Right, and then for a reward they would get maybe five or six akule. So, you know, it was sort of a friendly set up.

<End Segment 2> - Copyright © 2011 Densho. All Rights Reserved.