Need for Seaweed Sandbags


June 9, 2012

Minamisanriku town, about 60 miles (90 km) northeast of Sendai, is famous for its cultivation of wakame seaweed. The area has 31 ports with about 500 fishermen. The tsunami waves on March 11, 2011, caused extensive damage to all these ports, with many fishing boats destroyed or swept out to sea. Fisheries were also destroyed or rendered useles, with the ground level permanently dropping in some places by 3 feet.


The wakame seaweed growing fishermen need about 30 small sandbags for weighing down each seaweed growing rack so that it will stay submerged under the ocean surface. The bags needed are the three small ones in the pic at the left. Each fishermen can use about 200 bags for filling with sand. The bags are used at the end of August when the seaweed growing season begins.

It is estimated that 100,000 sandbags are needed. So far, Japanese volunteers throughout Japan have made 40,000. We are sure we can contribute toward making some of the remaining 60,000 sandbags by using our sewing machines purchased for tsunami recovery ministry.


We hope to sew the sandbags at Sendai Izumi Evangelical Free Church and invite volunteers from the church family and other places in Japan to help us. Ann will take the lead in teaching others how to sew the sandbags. We plan to make several trips to MinamiSanriku so we can meet the seaweed growing fishermen and deliver the sandbags as they are completed--and of course share the gospel of Christ with them.

We are in the process of finalizing this project and are hoping to begin sewing sandbags in early July. (dale little)