This article evaluates factors driving perception of risk and uncertainty in fisheries in Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, following the Fukushima Dai'ichi nuclear accident. Particular attention is paid to lessons that may be learned for managing uncertainties and risks in coastal management more generally. The 2011 accident has had profound effects on Fukushima fisheries. Commercial coastal fisheries have been stopped since, and efforts to understand and monitor the effects of marine radioactive contamination on produce from the sea continue. Small-scale trial fisheries have, however, re-commenced with a view to gradually re-starting Fukushima fisheries over time. Drawing on in-depth interviews, discussion groups, and field observations from Iwaki and Fukushima Prefecture more widely, three factors are discussed: the role of trusted local-level points of contact; the value of transparent monitoring and screening that acknowledges remaining limitations and uncertainties; and the importance of taking seriously the cultural dimensions of rapid and potentially irreversible environmental change.
- coastal fisheries
- environmental governance
- Fukushima Dai'ichi nuclear accident
- risk communication
- stakeholder engagement