News Letter Vol.1
Kinki University 21st Century COE Program English Site > News Letter Vol.1
A word on the occasion of the publication of the COE News Letter

Hidemi Kumai, Site Leader

21st Century COE Programs are projects for promoting the creation of internationally competitive universities with the intensive support of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, designed to establish world-class research and education centers for each field of study, Centers of Excellence, at the universities in Japan to enhance the level of research and develop creative personnel who will lead the world. Kinki University enjoyed the honor of having its 'Center for Aquaculture Science and Technology for Bluefin Tuna and Other Cultivated Fish' selected as a 21st Century COE program in the interdisciplinary, combined fields and new disciplines, in fiscal 2003 as well as fiscal 2002. This shows the government and society's appreciation for our research and education efforts. This research site aims to promote the development and research of advanced techniques for cultivating useful fish including bluefin tuna and establish a world-class research and education center which will support and cooperate in the global expansion of the fish culture industry.

Hoping that our efforts and the results of our COE program will be widely known, we have decided to publish a news letter. The first volume mainly provides an overview of the research and education activities contemplated at the 'Center for Aquaculture Science and Technology for Bluefin Tuna and Other Cultivated Fish'.

We would like to have your support and advice so that this program will result, at the earliest possible date, in the establishment of a center that will support and invigorate the culture industry not only in Japan but also in the rest of the world.

21st COE Program
Overview of the 'Center for Aquaculture Science and Technology for Bluefin Tuna and Other Cultivated Fish'


♦ Fisheries Laboratory and Graduate School of Agriculture, Kinki University

The Kinki University Fisheries Laboratory, which plays a pivotal role in this research, has pursued, since its foundation in 1948, unique research and education activities directly linked to the industry, which are never heard of in the fisheries and culture industry around the world. It not only has achieved the full culture of 16 major marine cultured fish, including bluefin tuna, but also has accomplished unique achievements, including the development of cloned tuna, no less brilliant than those realized by existing university spin-offs in biotechnology. Fisheries Science, Graduate School of Agriculture covers five specialties, Fishery Culturing, Marine Biology, Marine Environment, Fishery Application, and Fisheries Economics, in all of which research and education activities are pursued vigorously. While many graduate schools have ceased to use the word 'fishery' in their research courses, we are sticking to this word as we are strongly aware of the importance of fisheries science in Japan, a country facing the sea at the four sides, and we believe that we have taken the lead in fisheries science, especially production increase, in Japan.

♦ What the COE program aims at

Cultured bluefin tuna swimming in a preserve
Fisheries science, which has developed from the production frontline of the fishery and fish culture industry, involves a wide range of fundamental study, including all the branches of biology, chemistry, and physics, so it has been highly segmented to date. This process has brought about the gradual impairment of cooperation between the researchers and the frontline people, and the sophistication of research has not been fully exploited at the frontline level, from production to distribution. Furthermore, the limited attention paid to environment conservation in production has left behind negative legacy, endangering future sustainable production.

In this context, we believe that it is necessary to establish a research system which enables us to carry out a comprehensive study of all the processes, from initial growth to nurture and feed, seedling production, the development of cultivation technology through the research of fish disease etc., the development of technology for protecting the cultivation environment, quality inspection, sale, distribution, and economic effect, primarily at industrial-scale fish production sites. The Center aims to show how our country's fishery should be in the future and to form an unmatched world-class research and education center as a practical model for industry-support-type research which does not only enhance the research level in each specialty, through closer cooperation between Fisheries Laboratory and Graduate School of Agriculture, which have attained unique achievements for five decades in fishery culturing based on fish production sites. In this research center program, we also aim to contribute to the development of the cultivation, distribution, and food industries both in and outside of Japan through graduate education and supply information and brilliant talents with practical industrial know-how who are ready to be researchers.

[ Seedling Production and Culture Group ]

Establish technology for mass seedling production and high-level cultivation for species including bluefin tuna and contribute to the improvement of production technology for seedlings for release, while conducting physiological, biochemical, and thremmatological study of maturity, oviposition, and breeding.

Osamu Murata, Professor (Group Leader) Maturity and ovum collection method development for bluefin tuna, etc.
Shigeru Miyashita, Professor Seedling production technology development for bluefin tuna, etc.
Koichi Ueno, Professor Genetic analysis of cultured fish
Hiromi Ota, Professor Seedling production technology development for cultured fish
Yoshifumi Sawada, Associate Professor Development of seedling production technology for cultured fish
Yasunori Ishibashi, Associated Professor Cultured fish environment physiological analysis
Toru Kobayashi, Associated Professor Development physiological analysis for cultured fish
Keitaro Kato, Instructor Breeding and development of cultured fish
Katsuya Ishimaru, Research Assistant Disease countermeasures for cultured fish

[ Environmental Conservation and Source Dynamism Group ]

Understand physical and chemical changes occurring within preserves for cultured fish species including bluefin tuna and evaluate their impact on the cultured fish, examine the physical properties of culturing facilities and their structures, and engage in a variety of investigations, covering areas including environmental conservation methods for sustainable production, source dynamism, and volumes of additional stock introduction, as it works to gain an understanding of optimum culturing and stock numbers.

Takeshi Yamane, Professor (Group Leader) Source dynamism for bluefin tuna, etc.
Wataru Sakamoto, Professor Behavioral analysis for bluefin tuna, etc.
Mitsuru Eguchi, Professor Qualitative/microbial chemical analysis and improvement of breeding waters
Tsutomu Takagi, Professor Development of facilities including culturing preserves

[ Food Safety, Processing, and Animal Feed Group ]

Relay useful knowledge related to viable formula feed development, flesh quality of natural and cultured fish, processing, and safety into high-level culturing technology for fish including bluefin tuna.

Yasuyuki Tsukamasa, Associate Professor (Group Leader) Flesh quality evaluation and processing technology in cultured fish
Kenji Takii, Professor Development of feed for bluefin tuna, etc.
Masashi Ando, Associate Professor Fish flesh safety evaluation
Manabu Seoka, Research Assistant Nutrition and biochemistry for bluefin tuna, etc.

[ Economics and Distribution Group ]

Conduct economical analysis of the production and distribution of cultured and fished bluefin tuna and other species to elucidate factors in the price formation processes and the economic effect of culture production.

Seiichiro Ono, Professor (Group Leader) Distribution and economics of cultured fish
Takeshi Hidaka, Associate Professor Market structure for bluefin tuna, etc.