The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Department of Environmental and Symbiotic Sciences, Prefectural University of Kumamoto Professor Hiroaki Tsutsumi

Elucidation of environmental changes in fertile enclosed coastal areas and proposal of methods to restore coastal ecologies

Research grant

Project Description

The Ariake Sea, an enclosed coastal sea known for its high biological productivity, has undergone a prolonged deterioration of its seabed ecosystem. In this research, we turn our attention to (a) behavior of sand/soil influxes from human activities along the shoreline and (b) a slowdown of tidal flows. We analyze: historical changes in: water quality at flats and out to sea; seabed environments; and benthic organisms. We reveal factors behind environmental changes/ecosystem deterioration within the Ariake Sea and propose measures to address them.

Marine resources/foodPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2010 - March 2013
Grant amount
34,917,080 yen
Activity region
Ariake Sea
Sampling on the Ariake Sea

Overview of the Organization

Professor Hiroaki Tsutsumi
Professor Hiroaki Tsutsumi
Specialist field
Marine ecology
Affiliated academic society
Japanese Association of Benthology
In 1985 obtained a Ph.D. (science) from the Division of Natural Science, Kyushu University, In 1987 obtained a position as Associate Professor at Kumamoto Women's University. In 1991 was appointed Visiting Professor at the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University. In 1994 became an Assistant Professor at the Prefectural University of Kumamoto. In 1999 was appointed Professor at the Prefectural University of Kumamoto
Collaborating researchers
Toshio KOMATSU, Professor, Kyushu University; Noriyuki MOMOSHIMA, Professor, Radioisotope Center, Kyushu University; Shoichi SHIMOYAMA, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Science, Kyushu University; Shigeru MONTANI, Professor, Hokkaido University Graduate School; Toshiro YAMANAKA, Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, Okayama University
Research record
  • (1) Tsutsumi H (2008) Reduction of manganese dioxide in the sediment and its negative impact on the physiology of clams on two sandy tidal flats, Midori River Tidal Flat and Arao Tidal Flat, in Ariake Bay. Plankton and Benthos Research 3: 64-71.
  • (2) Tsutsumi, H., and A. Takamatsu, C. Kimura, S. Nagata, M. Tsukuda, T. Komorita, T. Takahashi, S. Montani. Mechanisms for the Expansion of Hypoxic Water in the Inner Areas of Ariake Bay during Summer (2007), Umi no Kenkyu (Oceanography in Japan), 16: 178-202.
  • (3) Tsutsumi H (2006) Review: Critical events in the Ariake Bay ecosystem : clam population collapse, red tides, and hypoxic bottom water. Plankton and Benthos Research 1:3-25.
  • (4) Tsutsumi, H., Kimura, S. Nagata, M. Tsukuda, H. Yamaguchi, T. Takahashi, S. Kimura, M. Tachibana, T. Komatsu, S. Montani, Mechanisms Causing Frequent Large-scale Red Tides in Inner Areas of Ariake Bay (2006). Umi no Kenkyu (Oceanography in Japan) 15: 165-189.