Ocean Newsletter

【Ocean Newsletter】Back issues

No.472 April 5, 2020
  • The Ocean Noise Problem
    AKAMATSU Tomonari
    Director, Ocean Policy Research Department, Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation
  • The Reopening of Japanese Commercial Whaling as Seen in Foreign Media
    SASAKI Megumi
    Film Director
  • 2020 as the Ocean Super Year
    TSUNODA Tomohiko
    Senior Research Fellow, Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

The Ocean Noise Problem

AKAMATSU Tomonari
Director, Ocean Policy Research Department, Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

Noises emitted underwater cannot be heard in the air above. Unbeknownst to most of us, ocean noise has grown into a serious problem. There is concern that ocean noise arising from ships, offshore wind platforms, and seabed mineral exploration is affecting marine life. With international organizations are now actively engaged, the ocean noise problem may well succeed the plastic debris problem as a primary focus. In this article, I consider the effects of ocean noise on marine life and what our future responses might be.

The Reopening of Japanese Commercial Whaling as Seen in Foreign Media

SASAKI Megumi
Film Director

Prompted by Japan’s 2019 reopening of commercial whaling within its EEZ, discussions on the whaling issue have been revived both domestically and abroad. The responses from overseas have for the most part been critical, though some have evaluated positively the reduction in number of whales taken and Japan’s withdrawal from the Antarctic Ocean. Characterizing whaling as a Japanese tradition generated misunderstanding and criticism. A more thorough explanation of how whaling constitutes part of the Japanese identity is now needed.

2020 as the Ocean Super Year

TSUNODA Tomohiko
Senior Research Fellow, Ocean Policy Research Institute, The Sasakawa Peace Foundation

2020 should prove to be an unprecedented year for ocean related fields in Japan. A variety of international conferences are scheduled, including the UN Ocean Conference and the Convention on Biological Diversity / Conference of the Parties (CBD/COP). As a once in a decade opportunity to decide on the post-Aichi Targets to 2030, CBD-COP is especially important. The problems of ocean space are closely interrelated. There are high hopes that progress can be made during this Ocean Super Year in the international debate on the problems of sustainable development in the ocean.

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