Details of Research Topics
With the finalization of the Basic Act on Ocean Policy and Basic Plan on Ocean Policy relating to the oceans as a whole, use of the oceans is about to enter a new stage. Yet although the establishment of marine protected areas (MPAs) is included in the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the environmental administration has been slow to act in this regard.
In addition to their function as food supply sources, coastal seas play a fundamental role in preserving the environment, and they are also important places that provide ecosystem services to humanity, including cultural and psychological support as systems that coexist with regional activities However, excessive loads that have been applied to coastal zones continually as a result of past human activities have come to exceed the environmental capacity of coastal seas.
This study will involve a comprehensive examination of natural and human activity in coastal seas and the land areas that constitute their hinterlands, in order to determine how these areas should be changed from their present state to an appropriate status in terms of material circulation and ecotones. Specific actions will be proposed as methods for the environmental management of coastal seas in Japan. To create methods for environmental management of coastal seas near land areas, a policy for the environmental management of coastal seas using the following as model areas must be established:
Outline of Research
Head Researcher Tetsuo Yanagi (Principal Researcher of International EMECS Center )
Topic 1: Development of methods for managing nutrients concentrations in the Seto Inland Sea (enclosed coastal sea)
Topic Leader:Wataru Nishijima (Professor and Director, Environmental Research and Management Center, Hiroshima University)
Efforts are currently underway to expand the present uniform method of water quality management in the Seto Inland Sea to bay and open sea management that takes into consideration social and geopolitical characteristics and seasonal fluctuations, and to preserve and restore nutrient salt management and biological habitat environments, in order to develop highly sustainable coastal management methods with the aim of achieving healthy substance circulation and high biological productivity that are not impaired by red tides or the like.
Topic 2: Development of coastal environmental management methods on the Sanriku Coast, which has a succession of open inner bays
Topic Leader:Teruhisa Komatsu (Professor, Yokohama College of Commerce)
This project will monitor the fluctuations in seaweed bed ecosystems on the Sanriku Coast to determine what human efforts are effective in restoring abundant coastal zones. Optimal aquaculture methods for oysters, scallops, wakame etc. on the Sanriku Coast will be proposed. In addition, quantitative evidence showing that the forests are the ocean’s best friend will be presented.
Topic 3: Development of methods for ocean management in the Japan Sea, an international enclosed coastal sea that includes continental shelves and islands
Topic Leader:Takafumi Yoshida (Chief Researcher, Northwest Pacific Region Environmental Cooperation Center)
The environmental changes in the Tsushima Current medial zone that are caused by global environmental changes and fluctuations in the environment of the East China Sea, and the common and unique aspects of the effect on individual bays, will be determined. In addition, the role of MPA designation in preserving biodiversity will be determined, and integrated land-sea management methods that integrate land areas with sea areas will be proposed. Moreover, methods for integrated management of the Sea of Japan and the Tsushima Current conducted with the cooperation of Japan, China, South Korea, Russia and other nations will be proposed.
Topic 4: Proposed economic assessment and integrated coastal management model for ecosystem services in coastal seas
Topic Leader:Kenichi Nakagami (Professor, Ritsumeikan University)
The economic value of ecosystem services in coastal zones of Japan will be calculated and a sustainability assessment will be performed. Integrated management methods needed for coastal zones to ensure the sustainable development of coastal zones will be proposed. The “Sato-umi” stories needed to connect non-fishing residents with coastal areas and involve them in coastal area management will be discovered or created and passed on. Methods for coordinating fishery activities in the Tsushima and Goto marine protected areas (MPA) will also be proposed.
Topic 5: Development of integrated numerical models for coastal sea management
Topic Leader:Tetsuo Yanagi (Principal Researcher, International EMECS Center)
Research coordination, collaboration promotion and control of overall progress of issues will be conducted to achieve the overall objectives of the project. The research achievements produced for each topic will be integrated to provide coastal zone management methods that can achieve sustainable coastal zone use in the 21st century. To this end, the objectives and guidelines for each topic will be presented, and a model that integrates nature, society and the humanities will be proposed.