Bizen City established the "Bizen City Study Group for ICM" and has been convening meetings to discuss its implementation with a focus on the restoration of eelgrass beds by fishermen, and a marine farm plan by Okayama Prefecture. As part of the current study, we are supporting Bizen City to smoothly implement ICM conducted by the local government as the main entity and establish the project as an independent activity.
Under Mayor Takeshi Yoshimura, Bizen City established a new integrated plan with the basic philosophy of "A city illustrated by the 'characteristics of Bizen.'" In an effort to achieve the goal of "Development of the Fisheries Industry with the Pillar of Satoumi Creation," the city stated its action towards ICM as follows: "We will establish systems to comprehensively manage land and ocean farms through the participation and collaboration of not only fishermen but also other citizens in order to create a city that utilizes abundant natural resources and other resources from the ocean and islands, to vitalize our area." Furthermore, Bizen City conducted structural reform, established the City Development Department and appointed four policy auditors who would promote cross-sectional policies for the creation of satoumi. It was a great step forward when the newly appointed policy auditors attended the study group in February 2014. The main topic of the discussion in the study group had been mainly about ocean farm zones; however, in the future, the study group will discuss wider topics with relevant parties and share visions with stakeholders from all of Bizen City including the Hinase district, to further discuss community renovation that considers ocean and land in an integrated manner.
We organized the "Bizen City Study Group for ICM" in collaboration with the Fishery Division of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries of Okayama Prefecture; the Industry Promotion Division of the City Development Department of Bizen City; and the Hinase-cho Fisheries Cooperative Association. With the participation of the representatives from the Bizen Higashi Chamber of Commerce and the Hinase-cho Tourist Association, the participants have discussed how to implement ICM for the area.