This is a conflict of fishermen, seaweed collectors and conservationists against the reclamation of land for agriculture. In 1997, the gates cutting off water to Isahaya Bay were closed, and the Isahaya tidal flat was drained. The construction of this dike by the Japanese government sparked conflicts for twenty years based on very material concerns about fishing and seaweed collecting, as well as on the appreciation for pristine nature (marine life and migratory birds). The bay was brutally closed by a 7 km seawall constructed by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fishery on 14 April 1997. What used to be one of the largest and richest staging sites of migratory birds with an incredible amount of organisms like molluscs and fishes, was thus turned into farmland, causing a huge loss in biodiversity. The conflict is between local fishermen, who blame damage to their shellfish and seaweed hauls on changes in the flow of the sea current after the floodgates were closed in 1997 to reclaim part of the Isahaya Bay, and farmers, who settled in the reclaimed area and oppose the opening of the gates, saying that incoming seawater would ruin their farmland. The government is caught by the two conflicting court decisions. In the complicated court battles over whether or not to open the gates, both fishermen and farmers have won district court rulings in favour of their compensation claims. The government is now obliged to pay compensation to the fishermen as long as the gates are shut.