Information Dissemination about the Ocean

【Ocean Newsletter】Back issues

No.424 April 5, 2018

The Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action Initiative

Biliana Cicin-Sain
President, Global Ocean Forum / Professor, University of Delaware
Meredith Kurz
Formerly Assistant to the President of GOF

The international community is increasingly recognizing the importance of the ocean in regulating climate, as well as the dramatic impact climate change has on ocean ecosystems. In recognition of this, the Roadmap to Ocean and Climate Action (ROCA) initiative was founded to promote the implementation of sustainable, science-based climate change policies that adequately consider ocean and coastal issues. There is a great deal of work left to do on ocean and climate problems, and the ROCA initiative exists to ensure that the momentum created by the Paris Agreement does not slow down.

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POPs Pollution Penetrating Deepest Parts of the Ocean

Toshitaka GAMO
Professor Emeritus, The University of Tokyo / Recipient of the 10th Maritime Award

Alarmingly high levels of PCBs measuring up to 905 ng/g were discovered in amphipods living in the trench and on the floor of the west Pacific Ocean, at depths of more than 10,000 meters. Ocean pollution is undoubtedly penetrating the deepest parts of the ocean. It is possible that PCBs reached the hadal zone through the food chain, when marine organisms mistakenly consumed microplastics floating in the ocean that had condensed PCBs adhering to their surface. There is hope for further advances on research in Japan regarding the biogeochemical cycle in the hadal zone, not only to strengthen efforts to stop marine pollution, but also as the country which holds the largest hadal EEZ in the entire world.

Domestic and International Efforts on the Development of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships

Yasuyuki NIWA
Senior Researcher, Knowledge and Data System Department, National Maritime Research Institute, National Institute of Maritime, Port and Aviation Technology

While research on autonomous driving has been advancing in the auto industry, research on Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships (MASS) is also being promoted in the ship industry, both in and outside Japan. Here, I will introduce several projects that have been launched in Europe, which has taken the lead in this field. In addition, I will touch upon some efforts in Japan regarding the realization of MASS, as Japan has launched several projects in efforts to stay up to par with developments abroad.