The Institute for East China Sea Research overlooks the East China Sea, which is one of the world’s richest bodies of water. To the Japanese people, the East China Sea is one of the most important bodies of water, because it supports the livelihood of millions of people. However, the populations of the surrounding regions are also one of the highest in the world; hence, the East China Sea is under intense anthropological influence. In this regard, the changing environmental conditions and the declining productivity of these waters are under scrutiny. For example, the water temperatures are rising and the biodiversity is changing, and evidence of changing nesting habitats, as well as the timing of spawning has been reported. Changes such as these are puttIng enormous influence on the safety of the water’s bioresources and the ability to maintain the production of the next generation of bioresources. Therefore our Institute is engaged in scientific research to understand the changes occurring in the East China Sea and how they will affect the safety and bioproductivity of the region, as well as develop ways to protect and rehabilitate the environment.
The Institute is actively and comprehensively investigating problems in marine biology and the marine environment, through an interdisciplinary approach involving ecologists, physiologists, oceanographers, and environmental scientists.
Furthermore, it is important to stress the importance of the connections between terrestrial and atmospheric influences on marine environmental issues. Therefore, we are also collaborating with scientists of the Graduate School of Fisheries Science and Environmental Studies of Nagasaki University, through the SAFE project, which is monitoring and evaluating the health of the East China Sea ecosystems. It is important to note that China, Korea, and Taiwan are also significant consumers of the productivity of the East China Sea. Therefore, it is essential for the countries of this region to work closely together and collaborate on scientific research to ensure the safety of bioresources, and the productivity and sustainability of these waters. With this in mind, the Oceanographic and Fisheries Science Education Consortium of the East China Sea have been organized to help educate the future leaders of scientific research in this region, through a network of 5 universities (Nagasaki University, Jeju University, Shanghai Ocean University, Taiwan Ocean University, and the University of the Ryukyus). Through this consortium, international symposia and opportunities for collaborative research and education continue to be organized.
Finally, the faculty members of the Institute are also affiliated with the Department of Marine Biology of the Graduate School. This 5-‐year program is designed to nurture young scientists that excel in field-oriented scientific investigations and proficient in international activities.
In this way, we are diligently working towards educating the next generation of scientists with sound fundamental skills and be able to approach and resolve scientific problems of the marine environment.