The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Institute of Symbiotic Science and Technology, Graduate School, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Professor Hideshige Takada

Public participation based monitoring of marine POPs with beached plastic resin pellets

Research grant

Project Description

The continual monitoring POPs* as an indicator of pollution is addressed within the Stockholm Convention and is indispensable for the construction of an environmentally sustainable social structure. Conventional marine POP monitoring has relied on the sampling of seawater, bottom sludge, and marine organisms. Cost and technology limitations, however, have made it difficult to extend such sampling over a sufficient broad extent. In this research, we explore an approach to monitoring marine POP pollution that is much less expensive than traditional approaches, covers a much broader swathe of the world, and encourages the participation of global citizens everywhere. That is, we enlist the cooperation of civic organizations throughout the world to monitor the beaching of plastic resin plastics in their bit of the world and, by that, help us monitor POPs pollution on a global scale. Our first attempts of this nature date to 2005. We are now to expand this network of cooperatives to 50 countries (citizens of the USA, UK, continental European countries, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, etc. together with UNEP and other researchers) and comprehensively monitor a a wider range of POPs.
*POPs: persistent organic pollutants are organic chemical compounds are resistant to biodegradation, highly accumulating, travel long distances, and are hazardous to human health and ecological systems.

Marine resources/food
Grant year
FY2007 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2008 - March 2011
Grant amount
10,333,332 yen
Activity region
Sampling plastic pellets on a beach; shown in the inset is a magnified view of collected pellets

Overview of the Organization

Professor Hideshige Takada
Professor Hideshige Takada
Specialist field
Environmental chemistry
Affiliated academic societies
Japan Society for Environmental Chemistry; Japan Society on Water Environment; Geochemical Society of Japan; Oceanographic Society of Japan; Society of Environmental Science, Japan
In April 1986 was appointed Assistant at the Department of Environmental Science and Conservation, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. From September 1990 to May 1991 was an International Student at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, until July 1997, when a position as Assistant Professor was taken at the Department of Environmental and Natural Resource Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. In November 2007 became a Professor.
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Research record
  • (1) Plastic Resin Pellets as a Transport Medium of Toxic Chemicals in the Marine Environment. by Mato et al. Environmental Science & Technology, 35, 318-324, 2001.
  • (2) New directions in plastic debris. by Thompson et al. Science, vol.310, p.1117, 2005.
  • (3) Call for pellets! International Pellet Watch: Global monitoring of POPs using beached plastic resin pellets. by Takada, Marine Pollution Bulletin, vol.52, 1547-1548, 2006.