Welcome to OBIRAME Restoration Group's Home Page

face of Ito, 117cm length

The Japanese huchen (Ito), the largest freshwater fish in Japan, is facing extinction.


artificial hatching

The Shiribetsu River is the southernmost habitat of Ito, also known as Obirame by the Ainu people. The goal of the Obirame Restoration Group is to restore and rehabilitate native populations of Obirame in the Shirebetsu River in collaboration with anglers, researchers and citizens.


A baby of Ito released into Riv.Shiribetsu.

The Obirame Restoration Group has begun a re-introduction program for the Obirame. On September 25, 2004 the group release 1800 Obirame fries into several sheltered tributaries of the Shiribetsu River.




We are trying take away the causes of the extinction, for example, many dams stop ITOs swimming up and down the streams. Since 2006, we have been collaborated with Shiribeshi Subprefectural Office of Hokkaido Government to build special fishladders for ITOs on 5 dams in Kudosan River, one of the tributaries of Shiribetsu River, and on spring 2009, we will achieve 3 of 5.


Obirame Rescue Card (PDF) The group has created the Obirame Rescue Card to help anglers and other concerned citizens to identify and protect the Obirame in its native streams.
NL30 You can download all of the Obirame Newsletters (2000-) . PDF & JPEG files, Japanese only.
References of Ito  


OBIRAME Restoration Group is supported by Patagonia Japan , the Hokkaido Shinbun Wildlife Fund, the Seven-Eleven Japan Green Fund, Patagonia Footwear, and HINO Jidohsha Green Fund.

Contact us:
Seisaku Kusajima, chairman.
Toshihiko Yoshioka, secretary-general.
Fujimi 65, Niseko-tyo, Hokkaido, JAPAN 048-1501
tel & fax +81-136-44-2472 E-mail

E-mail to webmaster
Rising Ito illustration on top bar: (c) Shigeru Tokumaru 2002
Contents and webdesign by Tsuyoshi Hirata except photos by Yoshifusa Suzuki
Special thanks to Mr. Brian Caouette from the Wild Salmon Center

(C) 1999-2009 OBIRAME Restoration Group. All rights reserved.