NYK has once again sponsored the Kishu Minabe Sea Turtle Research Project conducted by the NPO Earthwatch Japan.* This year, 13 NYK Group employees volunteered to participate in research sessions conducted on July 9–11 and again on July 13–15.
Minabecho in Wakayama prefecture is where most loggerhead sea turtles** lay their eggs on the main island of Japan, but a shortage of staff has prevented sufficient identification surveys from being conducted. This research project started last year with the aim of studying the sea turtle’s behavior patterns and keeping the turtles free of danger, and over the past two years, comprehensive surveys have been conducted and valuable data collected by NYK Group employees and citizen volunteers.
The participants attached identification tags to the turtles, and recorded and measured their shell lengths and widths as the turtles crossed the sandy beach to nest at nighttime. This research project was conducted under the careful guidance of an academic expert and members of the Sea Turtle Association of Japan, a local NPO, so as not to disturb the turtles’ spawning.
NYK, as a good corporate citizen that recognizes environmental issues as a significant company challenge, participates in projects such as this to contribute to the achievement of better seas through preservation of the marine environment and biodiversity, which are closely related to our business.
* Earthwatch Japan
Earthwatch, a non-profit organization established in 1971 in Boston, is an international nongovernmental organization. It provides researchers with both human and financial support for overseas field research and surveys. Volunteers dispatched all over the world by Earthwatch have taken active roles at cutting-edge scientific sites, receiving instruction from world-class scientists. Earthwatch Institute - Japan was established in 1993 for the purpose of promoting Earthwatch activities in Japan. In 2003, it was certified as a non-profit organization. http://www.earthwatch.org
** Loggerhead sea turtle
The loggerhead sea turtle is listed on the IUCN*** Red List of Threatened Species due to shore development, encroachment, and fishing nets.
International Union for Conservation of Nature. The IUCN is a global nature conservation network created by government and civil society organizations in 1948 to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges.