The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Fisheries-Maritime-Area Collaboration Division, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology Visiting Professor Hiroshi Yamakawa

Research on resource management methods to sustain/increase abalone resources through a configuration of a marine product traceability system

Research grant

Project Description

Japanese abalone command very good prices on international markets. However, because of deterioration and other changes in habitat as a result of coastal economic activity, seawater warming or the like, they remain in gradual retreat. Attempts to maintain/restore abalone stocks through seedling releases and the like, while ongoing, have not been sufficiently effective. In this research, we seek to establish a suitable and effective method of managing abalone resources by applying traceability techniques to resource surveys, to studies of poaching/harvesting regulations, and to other such initiatives. As specific measures toward this goal, we are to:
(1)tag abalone seedlings; conduct catch surveys;
(2)establish a method of characteristic analysis for resource structures
(3)construct a mathematical/statistical model for practical application to resource estimation
(4)provide concrete proposals/operating standards to optimize seedling releases and regulate harvests;
(5)quantify (estimate) losses to poaching and, by extension, appropriately control/manage economically valuable abalone resources (by, as above, optimizing seedling releases, proposing concrete measures for harvesting, etc.).
Surveys sites are: the Hegurajima fishing grounds off Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture (said grounds being notable for a marked decline in fisheries resources in recent years); the Kuzaki fishing grounds off Toba, Mie Prefecture (said grounds being notable for a zoning system introduced many years ago); and waters off Utatsu, Minami Sanriku-cho, Miyagi Prefecture and off Kominato, Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture (said waters notable as sites at which we earlier conducted traceability studies and continue to produce catches that include tagged abalone).

Marine resources/foodPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2007 Research Grants
Grant term
3 years
April 2008 - March 2011
Grant amount
7,055,444 yen
Activity region
Miyagi, Mie, Ishikawa, and Chiba Prefectures
A tagged abalone

Overview of the Organization

Visiting Professor Hiroshi Yamakawa
Visiting Professor Hiroshi Yamakawa
Specialist field
Life histories and reproductive ecologies of shallow-sea fisheries resources
Affiliated academic societies
Japanese Society of Fisheries Science; Ecological Society of Japan; Japanese Society for Aquaculture Science; Japanese Society of Fisheries Engineering; Japanese Society of Fisheries Oceanography; Sessile Organisms Society of Japan; Malacological Society of Japan
In March 1968 graduated from the Department of Aquaculture at Tokyo University of Fisheries, and in 1989 completed a Ph.D. in agriculture (University of Tokyo)
WEB site
Collaborating researchers
Kazumi SAKURAMOTO, Professor, Department of Ocean Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology; Naoki SUZUKI, Assistant Professor, same
Research record
  • (1) Hiroshi YAMAKAWA. "Proposal of method of abalone release shell tagging to facilitate resource management and discourage poaching." Gekkan Gyoson, Gyoson Bunka Kyokai, January 2004.
  • (2) Hiroshi YAMAKAWA. "Abalone information management with stainless steel and IC tags." Brain Techno News No. 113 pp. 32-37. Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization. 2005
  • (3) Hiroshi YAMAKAWA. "Introductions of anti-poaching methods." Conference Proceedings of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Engineering, Vol. 2005: 213-216. Japanese Society of Fisheries Engineering. 2005.
  • (4) Hiroshi YAMAKAWA et al. (2007). "Development of traceability tags for abalone and other shellfish; and application to resource management." Summary of proceedings of the spring 2007 conference of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, No. 1312. Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, 2007.
  • (5) "The world moves, Japan moves—application of tagging within abalone distribution networks." White Paper on the Oceans and Ocean Policy 2007. Ocean Policy Research Institute.
  • (6) Hiroshi YAMAKAWA. "The abalone industry: current state, challenges." Gekkan Gyoson, June-September. Gyoson Bunka Kyokai, 2004.
  • (7) Hiroshi YAMAKAWA. "Development of traceability tags for attachment to shellfish." Gekkan Yoshoku. Midori Shobo, 2008.
  • (8) Hiroshi YAMAKAWA. "Rapid advance of abalone cultivation in South Korea." AquaNet Monthly Sobunsha, 2008.