|Start date||January 2020|
|Scheduled end date||December 2020|
|Location||Hiroshima Bay, Hiroshima Prefecture|
|Participants||Kurahashijima Kaisan Co., Ltd.; Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU); Seafood Legacy Co., Ltd.|
|Target species||Pacific oyster (Magallana gigas)|
|Fishing equipment||Suspended ropes|
|Production volume||820 to 840mt per year|
The topography, tidal currents, and temperature of the waters surrounding Hiroshima Prefecture combine to form the ideal set of conditions for the growth of Pacific oysters, making these waters one of the leading oyster production areas in Japan which accounts for two-thirds of the country’s total oyster production volume. Founded in 1962 as an oyster farm, Kurahashijima Kaisan Co., Ltd. boasts one of the highest oyster production volumes in Hiroshima, with their employees engaged in everything from the production to processing of oysters at five different fishing grounds across the southwestern and central parts of Hiroshima Bay. Although Kurahashijima Kaisan has historically focused on delivering oysters that satisfy rigorous food safety standards, it has started working closely with the Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU), one of its longtime clients that has become actively involved in promoting sustainable seafood to merchants in recent years, to launch the production of environmentally-friendly oysters in Japan’s largest oyster production region of Hiroshima.
The main areas of improvement for this FIP include implementing a system to monitor the impacts of oyster farming on endangered species (such as the finless porpoise and the loggerhead sea turtle) and the surrounding ecosystems, establishing a means of collaborating with scientists on addressing these issues, and introducing management measures aimed at achieving long-term and prevention-based management targets. Firstly, we will work with the international NGO Ocean Outcomes (O2) to focus on the issues identified in the findings of the MSC pre-assessment and prepare an action plan to address these issues. Kurahashijima Kaisan, which will oversee the initiatives, will then take the necessary steps to raise the sustainability standards at oyster production sites based on this plan with the assistance of other companies participating in the project. We will offer the necessary technical and scientific advice for implementing the improvement measures as well as provide support for the preparation of reports. Every six months, participating members of the FIP will meet to deliver their respective progress reports, review the progress of the project based on the action plan, and revise the action plan if necessary. These progress reports will be released and published on Fisheryprogress.org, a website that tracks the progress of FIPs around the world. In addition to offering financial support for the monitoring system and other implementation-related aspects of the project, the Japanese Consumers' Co-operative Union (JCCU) will also be involved in the sale of this project’s products.
- September 2019: MSC Pre-assessment
Underwent a pre-assessment to determine compliance with MSC standards.
- October 2019: Held an FIP Activities Information Session
Held an information session with Kurahashijima Kaisan Co.,Ltd., hanging culture method fishermen, the Japanese Consumers’ Co-operative Union, Seafood Legacy, and other parties concerned covering FIP activity content and the process for acquiring MSC certification.
- November 2019: Fishing Ground Improvement Survey Meeting
Held a meeting for the exchange of opinions related to survey locations and contents for the fishing ground improvement survey to be conducted as part of the FIP.
- January 2020: FIP Launched
Carried out initiatives to resolve the issues identified by the MSC pre-assessment. Examples of these initiatives include identification of experts on endangered species, establishment of cooperation systems with these experts, and monitoring survey drafting.
- July 2020: Held FIP Progress Meeting
Held a meeting with all FIP members to discuss the progress of the FIP. At this meeting, members shared the results of the first survey on water quality, seabed quality, and benthic organisms conducted by the research organization, fine-tuned future adjustments to the survey schedule, and discussed measures for implementation if the water quality falls below the standards.
- August 2020: Implemented FIP Producers Seabed Environment Countermeasures Questionnaire
Implemented a questionnaire for all FIP oyster producers to determine countermeasures to be implemented if the results of seabed quality monitoring fall below the standard value. The measures determined through this process are planned to be incorporated into the resource management guidelines for the entire Hiroshima Oyster FIP.