The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center, Research Manager, Shinji Kirihara

Research on regional reconstruction and marine environment recovery through the restoration of aquaculture industry

Research grant

Project Description

This project aims to carry out investigation and important technological development to aid recovery of marine environment and regional reconstruction by introducing seaweed aquaculture industry to elderly people and disaster victims, including those with no farming experience. Specifically, the establishment of a design of durable seaweed farming facilities (along the coast of Hachinohe in Aomori Prefecture), the development and demonstration of an efficient seaweed seedling dispersal method using polymer gel, an efficient seaweed harvesting machine and seedlings which produce great harvest and profitability, investigations into reconstructing the market for seaweed cultivation. The project also conducts surveys to grasp the effect of the recovery of marine environment through seaweed farming, holds meetings for experts, organize and disseminate recommendations for local regional reconstruction and maritime environment restoration on the areas affected by the disaster in the Iwate area of Tohoku Prefecture.

Marine resources/foodPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2011 Research Grants
Grant term
2 years and 7 months
September 2011 - March 2014
Grant amount
15,784,000 yen
Activity region
Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture, Japan
Saccharina japonica nursery seaweed cultivation farm in Hachinohe, Aomori Prefecture (right) young germinated konbu (left)

Overview of the Organization

Research Manager, Shinji Kirihara
Research Manager, Shinji Kirihara
Specialist field
Aquatic Bioscience, Marine biosciences
Affiliated academic societies
Japanese Society of Phycology, The Japan Society of Applied Phycology, The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, Japanese Society for Aquaculture Science
Completed a Master's degree in 1983 from the Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, and was employed in Aomori Prefecture. In 2004, became Department Manager of the Aquaculture Research Institute of the Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center. In 2009, became the Office Research Manager for the Headquarter Planning and Management office. Was employed as a full time and visiting lecturer at Iwate University's United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences Global environmental management course
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Hokkaido University, Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere, Assistant Professor, Norishige Yotsukura / The Japan Institute of Fisheries Infrastructure and Communities, Second research department manager, Yasushi Ito / The Japan Institute of Fisheries Infrastructure and Communities, Senior Researcher, Daisuke Obata / Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center, Hachinohe Industrial Research Institute, Manager of Mechanical Systems, Sasaki Shouji /Aomori Prefectural Industrial Technology Research Center, Fisheries Research Institute, Senior Researcher, Yoshikazu Fujikawa
Research record
  • (1) Shinji Kirihara, et al. 2011 "Trial for restoration of konbu plant clusters in areas with sea desertification by fishermen divers in Aomori Prefecture's Shiriya area", Japanese Society of Fisheries Engineering Journal, 48(1), 29-34.
  • (2) Shinji Kirihara, 2011 "Sustainable fishing production and eelgrass seaweed beds, waste and irrigation water in Mutsu Bay, Aomori Prefecture", 53(1), 76-82.
  • (3) Kirihara S. et al. 2010 Seasonal changes of biomass and occurrence of wild sporophytes of Saccharina japonica (Phaeophyceae) on the coast of Cape Ohma, northernmost of Honshu, Japan. Algal Resources, 3, 111-122.
  • (4) Shinji Kirihara, et. al 2009 "The formation of Japanese kelp plant clusters by the removal of strongylocentrotus nudus from sea areas with sea damage on the Sai Coast in Aomori Prefecture", Algal Resources, 2(1), 45-60.
  • (5) Kirihara S. et al. 2006 Recent Fluctuations in distribution and biomass of cold and warm temperature species of Laminarialean algae at Cape Ohma, northern Honshu, Japan. Journal of Applied Phycology, 18, 521-527. (Marinalg International Award)