The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Sea Turtle Association of Japan

Establishing a network of divers to share information on sea turtles near Japan's coasts

Activity grant

Project Description

In a two-year project funded by the Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund from 2005, it was confirmed that areas close to Japan's coasts were important feeding sites for endangered green sea turtles. However, recently the algae that they feed on at these locations is disappearing due to factors such as sea desertification. In order to conserve these algae sites and the turtles that feed on them, this project aims to get divers across the Japan to take photos of sea turtle species, use these to identify the distribution of sea turtle habitats and feeding grounds, and create proposals for sustainable conservation methods. As well as publicly sharing information on the sea turtles and their habitats on the association's website, it will also make presentations at academic events. Prizes will also be presented to photographs taken by regular people that have significant artistic or academic value.

Grant year
FY2007 Activity Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2008 - March 2010
Grant amount
9,600,000 yen
Activity region
Coastlines across Japan
Algae at a green sea turtle feeding site

Overview of the Organization

Naoki Kamezaki, Chairman
Naoki Kamezaki, Chairman
Establishment purpose
Established to act as the central point of a network of organizations and individuals engaged in the conservation of sea turtles and the marine environment.
Main areas of activity
Hirakata, Osaka (HQ, public relations, information management); Cape Muroto, Kochi Prefecture (research); Kasasa, Kagoshima Prefecture (research); Kuroshima, Okinawa (research, education)
7 full-time staff members, 5 part-time staff members, and 52 full members
Annual operating budget
79.11 million yen in 2005, 58.94 million yen in 2006, 50.86 million yen in 2007
WEB site
Recent activities
This year the Sea Turtle Association of Japan has shared information with associated individuals through 19 academic events and the publication of a journal, and has worked to nurture and develop research and conservation activities regarding sea turtles. Specific acheivements include an investigation into the number of times sea turtle species across Japan laid eggs through which a sudden decline over recent years was revealed, a project involving a unified marking system across the country for clarifying migration routes of loggerhead sea turtles after egg-laying, identifying where turtles were being washed ashore by building a stranding network relying on public participation, and publishing various books and materials. It is also working to increase environmental awareness among youth through lectures and the like.