The Sakhalin Islands have been a contested archipelago for over 200 years. The original inhabitants were the indigenous Ainu, who were dominated by Japanese colonists by the time the Russians arrive in the early 19th century. The possession of the islands has passed back and forth several times in the ensuing eras, and both sides have mainly used it for forced labor by slaves or prisoners. The history of these alternating occupations is somewhat obscured by a mutual policy of burning the town before surrendering it to adversaries. There have been a number of industries attempted in the Sakhalins, but most have failed for one reason or another. The crab fishing has been the most persistent, although the island now has a large LNG facility nearby.