Sakura Mentor

Marine Activities in Okinawa
Johannes Nicolaus Wibisana Updated in July 2023

Okinawa, the island where I am currently doing my PhD, is renowned for its marine activities. The crystal-clear waters and the abundant marine life make it a haven for scuba divers, snorkelers, and fishermen. Coming to Okinawa, I have been immersing myself in many marine activities, and I can say that I have been living life to the fullest since coming here.

Scuba diving and snorkeling are two of the most popular marine activities in Okinawa. The island boasts of numerous dive sites that cater to both experienced and novice divers. The water also stays warm throughout the year, and so it is always a very pleasant experience throughout the year. For me, I occasionally dive at some of the dive sites in Onna Village, such as Seragaki and Cape Maeda. Some other popular dive sites include the Kerama Islands; however, these dive sites are only accessible by boat and personally I have never been to them. Diving at local sites, I almost always see sea turtles, sea snakes, among other reef fishes. Recently, I acquired an underwater camera enclosure so I can take pictures underwater.

Photo: Pictures I took diving near my home.

Fishing is another popular marine activity in Okinawa. The island is surrounded by abundant marine life, making it a perfect destination for fishermen. Some of the popular catches include tuna, marlin, and yellowtail. Personally, I have had success in going on boat trips to catch tuna and bonito. A lot of people also do shore fishing to target smaller fishes. During the winter, the mahi-mahi comes around and a lot of people go to the cliffs edge to fish. While this is a very fun sport it can be very dangerous. Therefore, it is always necessary to be well informed about the weather and to know the proper techniques before going on this type of fishing.

Mahi-mahi─A rare catch
Photo AC: SATO3

Despite the beauty and allure of marine activities in Okinawa, there are also inherent dangers. The waters can be unpredictable, and the currents can be strong. It is crucial to adhere to safety guidelines and take necessary precautions while participating in marine activities, such as understanding the sea conditions and when you should not go. Especially as there have been many incidents involving marine activities in the past few years. Furthermore, some marine life, such as jellyfish, venomous cone snails and fishes, can pose a threat to humans. Therefore, it is best to have all these understandings before doing any sort of marine activities or it might be costly.

In conclusion, living in Okinawa provides a very good opportunity to enjoy marine activities such as diving, snorkeling, or fishing. However, the sea can be unpredictable, and it is wise to understand when to go and when not to go. With proper knowledge and preparation, marine activities in Okinawa can be a life-changing experience.