The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Hokkaido University Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere Hiroshi Ueda, Professor

Research on restoring marine resources using the ability of important migratory fish species to return to spawning sites

Research grant

Project Description

Important migratory fish species such as salmon, eel and pufferfish return to the breeding sites they spawned from to lay eggs, but stocks are dwindling. These fish have the olfactory ability to perceive the minute components of smells dissolved in water, but very little research has been done into the components that make up the smells of their breeding grounds. This research focuses on the olfactory functions of migratory fish and will record the components making up the smells of the egg-laying sites of these important migratory species in order to clarify the mechanisms that allow them to home in on these locations. The results of this research will be used to contribute to increasing stocks of other migratory species that are known to return to breeding grounds, such as Pacific herring, Japanese sandfish, and Pacific cod. The environmental factors that produce the smell components of breeding grounds will also be analysed and identified in order to contribute to the conservation of egg-laying sites.

Marine resources/food
Grant year
FY2008 Research Grants
Grant term
1 year
April 2009 - March 2010
Grant amount
10,000,000 yen
Activity region
Toyohira River (Hokkaido), Ariake Sea (Nagasaki Prefecture), Nanao Bay (Ishikawa Prefecture), Ise Bay (Mie Prefecture), Japan; the Mariana Trench
Chum salmon swimming up the Shokanbetsu River in Hokkaido

Overview of the Organization

Hiroshi Ueda, professor
Hiroshi Ueda, professor
Specialist field
Fish physiology, environmental biology
Affiliated academic societies
The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, The Zoological Society of Japan, The Japan Society for Comparative Endocrinology, The Japanese Association for the Study of Taste and Smell, the American Fisheries Society
Left after acquiring course credit (doctorate in fisheries science) from the Hokkaido University Graduate School of Fisheries Science in 1980, researcher, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science; assistant and lecturer (doctorate in medecine), University of Occupational and Environmental Health Japan; researcher, US National Institutes of Health; assistant professor, Hokkaido University Faculty of Fisheries Science (Lake Toya Station); professor, Hokkaido University Field Science Center for Northern Biosphere
Katsumi Tsukamoto, professor, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, The University of Tokyo; Yoh Yamashita, professor, Field Science Education and Research Center, Kyoto University; Takayuki Shoji, professor, Tokai University School of Marine Science and Technology; Tatsufumi Okino, associate professor, Hokkaido University Graduate School of Environmental Science; Yoshitaka Sakakura, associate professor, Nagasaki University Faculty of Fisheries; Shigeharu Kinoshita, assistant professor, University of Tokyo Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences; Hideki Tanaka, breeding research group head, Fisheries Research and Education Agency, National Research Institute of Aquaculture
Research record
  • (1) Ueda, H: "Physiological and ecological studies on mechanisms of salmon homing" (Winner of the 2004 Japan Society of Fisheries Science Progress Award) Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi, 71, 282-285 (2005).
  • (2) Hino H., Iwai, T., Yamashita, M. and Ueda, H.: "Identification of an olfactory imprinting-related gene in the lacustrine sockeye salmon, Oncorhynchus nerka." Aquaculture, 273, 200-208 (2007).
  • (3) Ueda, H., Yamamoto, Y. and Hino, H.: "Physiological mechanisms of homing ability in sockeye salmon: from behavior to molecules using a lacustrine model." In "Sockeye Salmon Evolution, Ecology, and Management" (ed. Woody, C.A.), Am. Fish. Soc. Symp., 54, 5-16 (2007).
  • (4) Makiguchi, Y., Nagata, S., Kojima, T., Ichimura, M., Konno, Y., Murata, H. and Ueda, H.: "Cardiac arrest during gamete release in chum salmon regulated by the parasympathetic nerve system." PLoS ONE, 4(6), e-5993 (2009).
  • (5) Hino, H. Miles, N.G., Bandoh, H. and Ueda, H.: "Mini review of molecular biological research on olfactory chemoreception in fishes." Journal of Fish Biology, in press.