The Mitsui & Co. Environment Fund

Introduction to Grant Projects

Ehime University (Sustainable Seafood Research Council)

Developing and encouraging the use of educational tools for selecting sustainable marine products - Raising awareness among consumers and the restaurant industry

Activity grant

Project Description

In countries in Europe and the Americas, the crisis facing marine resources has been made an important issue and public awareness is high, leading to an increasing interest in sustainable marine products. An example of this is the labeling system operated by the Marine Steward Council which identifies products from sustainable fisheries. Environmental organizations are also providing information directly to consumers. This project will involve holding regular workshops by the Sustainable Seafood Research Council for participants from different sectors, and using the results of these to develop a 'Japanese Sustainable Seafood Guide' tool to provide information to Japanese consumers and the restaurant industry. The tool will provide the information needed to select sustainable marine products through iPhones and iPods in an easily understandable form in order to end Japan's current situation of being a major country for seafood consumption with very little information available on the subject, and contribute to global environmental movements focused on marine products.

Marine resources/foodPreservation of biodiversity and ecosystem
Grant year
FY2009 Activity Grants
Grant term
2 years
April 2010 - March 2012
Grant amount
6,750,000 yen
Activity region
A marine products dietary education session for children being carried out by the Sustainable Seafood Research Council

Overview of the Organization

Kenya Nozaki, Associate Professor at Ehime University's Research Center for Regional Community Innovation
Kenya Nozaki, Associate Professor at Ehime University's Research Center for Regional Community Innovation
Establishment purpose
The consumption of marine products has been growing globally in recent years, while at the same time there is also an increasing awareness of the danger of marine resources running out. However, in Japan, the world's biggest importer of seafood, awareness regarding the issue remains low. The Sustainable Seafood Research Council was established by a variety of interested individuals, ranging from seafood distributors to consumers, in order to change the situation in Japan by considering ways of selecting marine products that balance quality and sustainability, and what information is needed to facilitate these.
Main areas of activity
Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, and areas within Tokyo, Japan
5 full-time staff members, 1 part-time staff member
Annual operating budget
4 million yen in 2010
WEB site
Recent activities
  • (1) Holding regular tasting workshops in the Tokyo area. These involve participants from a wide range of fields, such as chefs and food journalists, comprehensively assessing sustainable Japanese marine products. The results of these sessions are arranged in an easy to understand form and used to create a guide for restaurants, distributors, and retailers.
  • (2) Developing a tool (iPhone app) to provide consumers with information to deepen their understanding of issues concerning marine products and the marine environment.