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Acitivity report(2009)
5th Fisheries Laboratory Cafe at Kinki University GCOE an we make lots of money out of tuna culturing?
Sachiko Harada, Post-doctoral fellow 

(Distribution and Risk Analysis Group)
The 5th and last of this year's Fisheries Laboratory Cafe was held on December 12, 2009 in a conference room at Ashibi-no-Sato (Nara-machi). A total of 23 guests attended including some repeat visitors and first time attendants. Some of them brought their families while others were students or professionals from various fields.

The meeting was run by the Distribution and Risk Analysis Group and two reports concerning tuna culturing, which has recently been a noteworthy topic, were presented from economic perspective under the theme 'Can we make lots of money out of tuna culturing?'

The first report was titled 'What is tuna culturing?' and basic information about tuna culturing was provided including the types of tuna, where they are cultured, and production volume.

The second report was titled 'Will tuna culturing be profitable?,' in which Associate Professor Masahiko Ariji (Fishery Economic Laboratory) from Kinki University talked about how tuna culturing businesses will develop and also if they will really be profitable while more international resource management institutions are setting fishing restrictions due to the decrease in tuna resources.

Since the meeting was the last one this year, we prepared bluefin tuna cultured in the Amami Oshima Site and served sashimi (sliced raw fish) to participants as a special treat. It was the first time for many of the participants to taste cultured tuna and they really enjoyed its rich fatty taste. During the table discussion and general discussion sessions, participants enthusiastically shared their varied opinions and posed questions concerning the economic potential of tuna culturing businesses.

We had some very meaningful discussions about science with participants at this fiscal year's four Fisheries Laboratory Cafe meetings. We would like to express our gratitude to all the participants and everyone who cooperated with us.


4th Fisheries Laboratory Cafe? at Kinki University GCOE ‘Secret Power of Fish Collagen’ Kenichi Yokoi, Post-doctoral Fellow (Seedling Production Group)
The 4th Fisheries Laboratory Cafe at Kinki University GCOE was held on October 17, 2009 at a parlor in Ashibi-no-Sato, Nara-machi.

Unfortunately, it was raining on the day, but even in spite of this, the event was attended by plenty of people, including a number of persons who had come to other Fisheries Laboratory Cafe events before. In the end, the attendance reached a total of 18, and most of these had reserved their places well in advance, suggesting that interest in this project is steadily increasing.

The theme this time was 'Secret power of fish collagen', and three different discussions were presented by the Utilization and Safety Group. The first half of the day consisted of two discussions - 'what exactly is collagen?' and 'the functionality of fish collagen' - which introduced how collagen is a protein that plays an immediate part in all of our lives, and offers many different effects. The participants seemed especially interested in the effects collagen can have in terms of beauty and preventing things like osteoporosis and high blood pressure, and I think they particularly enjoyed the quiz section that was prepared on these topics.

The third item, 'Cultured tuna vs. naturally-reared tuna - which is more healthy?', introduced a discussion not about collagen, but about lipids and fatty acids (such as DHA and EPA). It was explained that cultured tuna contains two to three times as much lipids as naturally-reared tuna, and as a result, this cultured tuna is richer in fatty acids. The participants seemed shocked by the findings of this latest research. A succession of questions was asked in the round-table and general discussions, and this once again showed just how high public interest in bluefin tuna is.

These Fisheries Laboratory Cafes are highly beneficial even to us, the suppliers of their contents. They serve as an excellent opportunity for us to explain our research to the general public in a manner that is enjoyable and easy to understand.

I am deeply grateful to the Kinki University Global COE Program and everyone concerned with it for giving us the opportunity to host such a fruitful event.


inki University Global COE Program 1st 2009 Symposium ‘Current Status and Future Prospects for the Bluefin Tuna Culturing Industry’- Participation report Amal Kumar Biswas, Assistant Instructor (Culture Group)
The 1st 2009 Symposium for the Kinki University Global COE Program was hosted as part of the 'Japan International Seafood & Technology Expo', which was held at Tokyo Big Sight between July 22 and 24, 2009. With the rapid decrease in Atlantic and southern bluefin tuna resources, there has been a steady increase in cultured bluefin tuna production in Japan over the past few years. However, since naturally-produced juvenile fish are still used as seedlings for bluefin tuna culturing even today, the increased in cultured fish production itself leads to a decrease in natural resources.

With stricter limits on tuna fishing being imposed by bodies such as ICCAT, CCSBT, IATTC, and WCPFC, the establishment of industrial mass production technology for seedlings of bluefin and other varieties of tuna is becoming a more pressing issue than ever.

In 2002, the Fisheries Laboratory at Kinki University led the world in successfully introducing total culturing for Pacific bluefin tuna. Since then, in the 21st Century COE Program that ran from 2003 and in the Global COE Program that was launched in 2008, we have worked with the Kinki University Graduate School of Agriculture to set up an international education and research site, and gathered a wide range of valuable, applied, and complex findings that extend from mass seedling production technology to a wide range of other fields. This symposium was held as part of our efforts to communicate these findings, and was attended by almost 200 people, including many researchers, members of the Japan Fisheries Cooperative, representatives of consumer culturing companies, other people involved in culturing, and members of the general public.

The symposium began with an opening greeting from Hiroshige Seko, vice-president of Kinki University and a member of the House of Councilors. The morning program continued with lectures by Professor Hidemi Kumai, the Global COE Site Leader, on the efforts and processes that led to the successful introduction of total culturing for bluefin tuna and the future prospects for this field; by Naozumi Miyabe of the Fisheries Research Agency on global tuna resources usage, issues with management, causes for declining catches, and issues in resources analysis; and by Shigeru Miyashita on cause analysis and countermeasures for initial depletion rates.

In the afternoon, lectures were given by Associate Professor Yasunori Ishibashi on industrial mass production of artificial seedlings and the development of mid-term cultivation technologies; by Professor Kenji Yokoi on the development and commercialization of compound feeds; by Professor Yasuyuki Tsukamasa on the quality, flesh quality, and mercury content of cultured bluefin tuna; by Professor Tsutomu Takagi on the NaLA (Net Shape and Loading Analysis) system for optimum bluefin tuna culturing facility design; by Professor Lou Xiaobo of the Graduate School at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology on the importance of the innovation of bluefin tuna culturing within market economies; and by Professor Seiichiro Ono on industrial mass seedling production, development of compound feeds, and usage of fisheries as economic issues within the bluefin tuna culturing industry.

After a short break, the seminar moved on to a panel discussion led by Professor Ono. The panel discussion began with explanations by Kinichiro Wakasugi of the Sojitz Tuna Farm on the establishment and marketing concepts of a trade-based culturing company; by Shukei Masuma of the Fisheries Research Agency on the current status and issues in bluefin tuna culturing research being conducted at the agency; by Professor Osamu Murata on future initiatives for the Kinki University Fisheries Laboratory; and by Professors Yokoi and Lou on the lectures that they had given previously. In the discussion itself, the members of the panel and other people attending the seminar exchanged opinions on various issues actually affecting bluefin tuna culturing – including appropriate seedling sizes and prices, symptoms and vaccines for iridoviruses, and the need to accurately assess bluefin tuna culturing volumes. Finally, Professor Hiromi Ohta gave a closing greeting to bring the symposium to an end.

This symposium showed how tough current conditions really are for the bluefin tuna culturing industry, with many issues to solve from mass seedling production and cultivation to product distribution. However, it also proved how great the possibilities are for dramatic advances to be made throughout the world.


FY2009 Internship Report Kim Yang-Su, Post-doctoral Fellow (Culture Group)
The three-month internship I spent at the Wakayama Prefecture Testing Center was an extremely valuable period in which I was able to experience a number of things I had never learned before. The various individual researchers were conducting research from a wide range of angles - each with their own respective specialties - in order to revitalize fishery production in Wakayama Prefecture.

The passion and enthusiasm that they showed towards their research differed little from the researchers at the Kinki University Fisheries Laboratory.

The first area that I worked in was seedling production for longtooth grouper stocks, which was a completely new experience for me as I had only ever researched sea bream seedling production before. Unlike with the sea bream, there are all sorts of unsolved problems in the culturing of longtooth grouper larvae and juveniles, such as the strength of the water current, tank base cleaning and the infiltration of shells and fossils due to lower water levels, lighting during breeding, juvenile mortality due to stress from things like noise, wide scale cannibalism after metamorphosis, various diseases and parasites, and wide scale morphological defects and resultant issues of selection. This made for much tension in my daily work.

Whenever issues such as these arose, the researchers from the relevant specialist fields would share their opinions and work to solve the problems with such determination that it made me feel as if they were capable of solving absolutely anything.

The research into low fishmeal feeds in the middle of summer, and into plum-fed red sea bream using the famous Japanese plums of Wakayama Prefecture was not hugely different from the fishery culturing research I had previously conducted at the Uragami Experiment Station. However, the various pieces of research all represented highly important pieces of work, and there were a great deal of new ideas and ways of thinking that I could learn just by watching.

Finally, since coming to Kinki University as an overseas student, my experiences had been entirely confined to the Uragami Experiment Station, but this internship was a wonderful experience that enabled me to learn a great many things in a new location, with new people, looking at newly-collected information. It was a highly beneficial three months, and allowed me to reaffirm my dream of pursuing the path of a researcher myself in the future. I am truly grateful to the Kinki University G-COE Program and my various teachers for having provided me with such a great opportunity.


Wakayama Prefecture Fisheries Testing Center (main site) Breeding site Outdoor tank (15 tons)

Inside the breeding site Longtooth grouper stocks (produced this year) Internal tank (5 tons)

Longtooth grouper produced this year Experiment to determine appropriate feeding volumes for longtooth groupers Experiment to prevent feeding damage

Low fishmeal experiment for amberjack Red sea bream experiment Appropriate density experiment for longtooth groupers

Automatic feeding period experiment Inside a testing room Cultivating seaweed

Survey boat The culturing preserve The sea-side testing center


Report on visit to Larvi 2009 -5th fish and shellfish larviculture symposium 
Yoshizumi Nakagawa, Assistant Instructor (Culture Group)
‘Larvi09 - 5th fish and shellfish larviculture symposium’ was held at Ghent University in Belgium from September 7 to 11, 2009.

This symposium covered not only fish, but larviculture for all shellfish and crustaceans as well. It was attended by some 400 people from over 45 countries, mainly from Europe. The symposium is held every four years, and so allows participants to hear not only the latest information, but also the results of various different research conducted over the previous four years.

The poster presentation part of the symposium is rather unique, consisting as it does not only of presentations given by researchers in front of their own posters, but also of a feature after the conclusion of the oral presentations in each session where guest speakers act as reporters. These reporters present summaries of the various posters, before a question and answer session between the reporters and the authors attending the symposium.

I gave a poster presentation entitled ‘Flow field control at nighttime enhances survival of Thunnus orientlis larvae’. Aside from me, there was only one other presentation on bluefin tuna at the whole symposium.

Perhaps because Europeans are generally not as familiar with the phenomenon of bluefin tuna and other larvae sinking during the early stages of cultivation, many other participants came to look at my work, and told me that it was a good piece of research overall, but we were unable to engage in deep discussion over the more detailed contents. However, I did receive particular praise from a researcher working in seedling production for Seriola (amberjack) - a genus whose incubated larvae display this same sinking phenomenon - in Mexico.

Meanwhile, during the poster discussions held at the venue for the oral presentations, the reporter introduced and praised my research. He then asked me just how much it is possible to increase the flow field, given that I have already been successful in preventing death by sinking and boosting survival rates by doing so.

The data that I presented came from research conducted in 2007 and 2008, but this year, I have bred the larvae with an even greater flow field. This has resulted in the bluefin tuna larvae being hardly affected by the strong flow rates at night, and in an increased survival rate. I told the reporter that although it is generally thought that strong flow rates have a physical impact on the larvae, this may in fact not actually be the case.

This symposium saw a large number of reports on morphological defects in particular. These placed focus on the influence on initial nutrition that can be caused by a excess of fat-soluble vitamins, or trace elements such as zinc. Although this was a symposium on larviculture, and I did see a number of works of scientific merit, I did however feel that there were very few examples of research on display that could actually be applied in seedling production sites.

It was also noted during the closing ceremony that more research needs to be performed in areas that can then actually be used in these sites. The seminar gave me a strong impression overall that the results of my own research - based on a strong belief in our university’s focus on actual sites, dating back to Koichi Seko’s call to ‘cultivate the seas’ - have been truly world class.

This symposium is the largest international symposium on fish larviculture anywhere in the world. In presenting the results of the G-COE research activities, and receiving particularly high praise from the other participants, I was able to feel just how strong the level of our university’s research and philosophies really is.

Being able to give a presentation at this exhibition was a highly beneficial experience. I was also able to enjoy lively discussions with other researchers, both from Japan and from overseas. I am deeply grateful to the Kinki University G-COE Program for having given me this most valuable opportunity, and will now devote myself to achieving further successes in future.


3rd Fisheries Laboratory Cafe at Kinki University GCOE 'Bacteria: Small but Big' Kazuyoshi Yoneyama, Post-doctoral Fellow (Environment Group)
The 3rd Fisheries Laboratory Café was held on August 8, 2009 at Ashibi-no-Sato (Nara City). Due to space limitations at the site, the laboratory session was held on a slightly smaller scale as compared to last time, restricting the number of participants to about 20. The café was filled to capacity as a total of 21 persons participated, including five persons who registered on the site.

The theme of the 3rd Fisheries Laboratory Café was 'Bacteria: Small but Big' and the Environmental Affairs Group was responsible for giving presentations. Recent research has shown that we are surrounded by an amazing number of bacteria with a wide range of functions. Thoroughly understanding bacteria that are closely related to the environment in which fish are bred is important for the fish culture industry. Three presentations were given drawing from the latest research results on these bacteria.

In the first section 'What are marine bacteria?,' we discussed the size and number of marine bacteria and their roles in the marine ecosystem. In the second section 'Flavobacterium Psychrophilum of Ayu (sweet fish),' we talked about a breakthrough technology to kill Flavobacterium psychrophilum simply by temporarily raising the temperature of the water in which ayu are bred. In the last section 'Bacteria in Water in which Larval Fish are Bred,' we discussed the roles of phytoplankton to control pathogenic bacteria that are responsible for causing disease in larval fish.

Participants had very fruitful and lively debates at the round-table discussion and general discussion. We believe that each presentation was given in an easy-to-understand, friendly manner and that all participants thoroughly understood them as many of them, including elementary school students, asked questions. An experiment section, held in a corner of the café, was well-received by the participants. Many of them observed bacteria moving under a microscope even after the session finished. Sharing time with the participants through the session was stimulating and has motivated us to study even more.

In the questionnaire, many participants wrote questions that they were unable to ask during the debates as well as giving their honest opinions. We were very pleased to learn that many of them are interested in participating in the next session. We are determined to use this valuable feedback so that next time Fisheries Laboratory Café will be even better and more enjoyable.

Click here for a more detailed report.


Participation report for the 10th International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture. Tohru Kobayashi, Associate Professor (Seedling Production Group)
I presented the results of my studies at the 10th International Symposium on Genetics in Aquaculture.

The symposium was held at the Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok Hotel and Bangkok Convention Center in Bangkok City from June 21 - 26, 2009, in the presence of Professor Dr. Her Royal Highness Princess Chulabhorn Mahidol, on the theme of the 'Roles of Aquaculture Genetics in Addressing the Global Food Crisis'.

At the symposium, I gained a better understanding of the direction in which research into fish genetics and breeding is moving, globally, along with recent advances in the field. In all countries, the major research themes seemed to be similar, focusing on the production of useful lineages (growth efficiency, disease resistance, sex control, etc.), the use of these lineages to search for the responsible genes, and the identification of genetic markers linked to these genes. Many research groups were trying to establish the basis of marker-assisted selective breeding using genetic markers.

I was impressed with the way in which the U.S., European countries, Australia, and China have all initiated national or international projects and are providing substantial funding for research into commercially important species, as well as rapidly compiling genetic information through cooperation between industry, government, and academia. Learning about this at the symposium made me realize just how important it is to approach people in Japan in order to establish similar systems in the near future.


The 8 th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference Participation report (Perth, Australia) Kenichi Yokoi, Post-doctoral Fellow (Seedling Production Group)
I participated in the 8 th Indo-Pacific Fish Conference (held from May 31 to June 5, 2009, in Perth, Australia).

This international conference included various fields of research ranging from basic ichthyological research through to applied research involving resource management. Approximately 300 oral presentations and 70 poster presentations were included in the conference. Although there were relatively few presentations concerning the physiology of reproduction, the keynote lecture presented by Dr. Ned Pankhurst from Griffith University, entitled the 'Effect of temperature on reproductive endocrine processes in tropical fish and implications of climate change', was fascinating.

Some research presentations concerned fish species with high industrial value such as bluefin tuna, eels, and salmonid fish. A comparative anatomy research report on muscular structure and nerve control in bluefin tuna was especially interesting.

I gave an oral presentation on the tolerance of ayu spermatozoa to cryopreservation, entitled "Differences in tolerance to cryopreservation of spermatozoa between land-locked and amphidromous ayu forms (Plecoglossus altivelis)."

During the question-and-answer session, I was able to respond to questions relatively easily because the people asking questions used simple English. However, it was difficult for me to explain precisely what I was thinking so I definitely felt the need to improve my English speaking skills. Throughout the international conference, I was able to improve my speaking skills and presentation style when discussing topics in English. This will be a great help for my future research activities.

Building on this experience, I would like to continue to participate in international conferences. In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude for the Kinki University COE Program that gave me such a fantastic opportunity.


Kinki University Global COE Symposium National Taiwan Ocean University and Japan Kinki University Students Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Symposium I Hiromu Fukuda, second-year PhD student(Environment Group)
I visited the National Taiwan Ocean University in Keelung City to participate in the international symposium of the global COE program 'National Taiwan Ocean University and Japan Kinki University Students Aquaculture and Fisheries Science Symposium I ' held from March 5 - 7, 2009.

The symposium comprised two sessions - aquaculture and fisheries research. Kinki University presented eight reports and the National Taiwan Ocean University presented nine reports.

At each session, interesting research reports were presented, including the effects of dietary lipid levels on the growth and survival of cultured grouper larvae and the relationship between the spatial distribution of bonito schools and SST or the chlorophyll amount, based on a study of fishing records. Over a hundred participants engaged in lively discussions of these reports. I gave an oral presentation entitled 'Development of schooling behavior in cultivated Pacific bluefin tuna with growth' and received many questions and comments about my experimental methods and the influence of the swimming ability of bluefin tuna on seedling production.

The symposium described above was planned and run mainly by students from Kinki University and the National Taiwan Ocean University, and I helped run the symposium as a member of the steering committee. Even though most students were not very accustomed to communicating in English (using written Chinese characters sometimes helped communication), the symposium was successfully completed with the cooperation of a number of teachers and staff from both universities.

I am now compiling a record of the proceedings in order to document the symposium. I believe that all participants gained a lot from the close relationships built up during the planning and management stages of the symposium, as well as the actual symposium itself. I would like to express my gratitude to the teachers and everyone else involved in the Global COE Program for giving me this wonderful opportunity. I would also like to thank the National Taiwan Ocean University staff, including Professor Kuo-Tien Lee and Professor Shyn-Shin Sheen, who provided their full assistance with the planning and management of the symposium, and all of my friends in the graduate school.


2nd Fisheries Laboratory Cafe at Kinki University GCOE ヤFishery Culturing Revolution at Kinki Universityユ Kenichi Yokoi, doctorate researcher (Seedling Production Group).
The 2nd Fisheries Laboratory Café was held on June 27, 2009 at the Kinki University School of Agriculture campus. As this was the first Fisheries Laboratory Café to be held in the 2009 academic year, there were a number of new members of staff, and though we were not sure what kind of attendance to expect as a result, we endeavored to prepare so that everyone could enjoy themselves. In the end, 22 people attended the café, which was round about the number we had anticipated.

The Culturing and Artificial Seedlings Group was responsible for giving a presentation at this Fisheries Laboratory Café, and their ambitious choice of theme was 'Fishery Culturing Revolution at Kinki University'. The contents of the presentation were divided into two main parts, 'Developing New Seawater for Culturing' and 'The "Love" of Tuna', and the points made about the fundamental issues of culturing and seedling production were truly revolutionary.

The 'Developing New Seawater for Culturing' part introduced the latest research geared toward the development of artificial seawaters that would help prevent disease amongst fish, while the section on 'The "Love" of Tuna' spoke in dramatic detail about how death due to collisions amongst juvenile bluefin tuna is related to the fish's poor eyesight. With natural resources depleting, it is highly important that we establish the kind of cultivation technology that will allow us to bring a stable supply of fish to our dinner tables, and everyone attending the Café showed a keen awareness of this issue and real interest in the content of the presentations.

A number of different questions were posed at the round-table discussion, with lively debates taking place over issues such as 'which is better - natural seawater or artificial seawater?'; 'does artificial seawater cause qualitative changes to proteins in fish?'; and 'what measures are available in order to prevent death due to collisions in tuna?'. The members of staff present also received a number of interesting questions from the various enthusiastic participants, making for an exciting occasion for all concerned.

This Fisheries Laboratory Café was attended by a number of new members of staff and did experience a few organizational difficulties, but we will do everything that we can to learn from the lessons of this time and host Café events that allow everyone to enjoy their science even more in future.

Click here for a more detailed report.


Kinki University - Ehime University COE Joint Forum 2008 Akito Taniguchi, Post-doctoral Fellow (Environment Group)
On January 26 and 27, 2009, I took part in the Kinki University - Ehime University Global COE Joint Forum 2008, where I gave an oral presentation entitled 'Spatiotemporal dynamics of key species responsible for marine bacterial production'.

The theme of this forum - which was held jointly by the Kinki University Global COE Program 'International education and research center for aquaculture science of bluefin tuna and other cultured fish', and the Ehime University Global COE Program 'Center of Excellence for Interdisciplinary Studies on Environmental Chemistry' - was 'Aquaculture Science Meets Environmental Science'. A total of 14 speakers attended the forum, both from Japan and overseas, and engaged in highly lively discussions.

At Ehime University, active efforts have been made to ascertain the actual human impact on the environment within fish culturing environments from an environmental chemistry perspective, and many young and overseas researchers have engaged in pioneering research. At this forum, there were particularly many presentations on microbial ecology, which showed how the importance of microorganisms within culturing environments has been recognized, and enabled me to deepen my understanding about this cutting-edge research with regard to the important roles these microorganisms play.

During the presentations and also during a highly valuable get-together afterwards, I was able to enjoy a lively exchange of opinions with the other researchers, and I believe that this forum will have contributed greatly to the development of the research being conducted at each of our universities.
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