The Sukumo Bay site is unique because two municipalities are involved. OPRI are supporting the transition of ICM to the implementation stage, by co-hosting the Sukumo Bay Study Group for ICM after conducting the Ocean Health Check, which is originally developed by OPRI. The goal of the second phase is to launch the Council for ICM.
The Study at Sukumo Bay began in November 2013. Currently, stakeholders of Sukumo City and Otsuki Town are eagerly preparing for the establishment of the council.
Active dialogue concerning Integrated Coastal Management of Sukumo Bay has been carried out. Information concerning activities of the other ICM model sites and projects by Kochi University were also shared with relevant stakeholders. People who are involved in the study are eager to incorporate various inputs from other areas and are enthusiastic about implementing ICM at Sukumo Bay.
In addition to the study group, the final report of the Ocean Health Check is one of the main outcomes of the project, as it will help us understand the current situation in Sukumo Bay and will facilitate more lively discussions with the stakeholders.
The stakeholders of Sukumo Bay, such as fishermen, are concerned about the degradation of the marine environment, including red tide occurrences. Meanwhile, stakeholders of forest management have a high interest in the integrated management of the watershed. The concern over the environment among various stakeholders has presented an opportunity for their collaboration towards ICM from a wide perspective. Furthermore, Sukumo City and Otsuki Town are showing strong interest in the issues of the Sukumo Bay coastal area in terms of improving the marine environment through activities such as watershed area management. The two municipalities' motivation is expected to create proactive leadership, and support from experts from local research institutions such as Kochi University, the Biological Institute on Kuroshio and the Kuroshio Jikkan Center is also expected.