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Saga: 1-hour chase ends in arrest of elderly man, wife for poaching red clams

in the Ariake Sea
Saga police chased a man and his wife as they fled in the Ariake Sea on Thursday (Fuji News Network)

SAGA (TR) – Saga Prefectural Police arrested an elderly fisherman and his wife for allegedly poaching red clams in the Ariake Sea last week after a chase at sea, reports Nippon News Network (Feb. 23).

At around 4:30 a.m. on Thursday, Kenji Fujita, a 74-year-old resident of Kashima City, and his wife, 71-year-old Masano, for allegedly using a net to trawl for the clams without a proper license.

The suspects, who have been accused of violating the Fisheries Act, admit to the allegations, according to police.

After receiving an anonymous tip, Saga police and a local branch of the Japan Coast Guard staked out the area. Footage broadcast by the network shows a police boat chasing a craft containing the suspects between rows of seaweed being farmed. The pursuit last for about one hour, police said.

According to the Saga Prefectural Ariake Fisheries Promotion Center, 1 kilogram of red clams fetches between 30 and 40 yen in Saga. However, the figure is 10 times larger in neighboring areas, such as Shimane Prefecture.