The preservation of the sea is crucial for the Nissui Group, whose business relies on its bounties. In order to sustainably utilize marine resources, efforts to maintain the health of the sea itself and to aid its recovery, as well as resource management, are essential. To this end, we are engaged in preservation activities that take a holistic approach to the “forest, river and sea.”
It all started with a lecture titled “What oysters taught me” given at Nissui’s head office in February 2011. The lecturer, Mr. Shigeatsu Hatakeyama who was operating an oyster farm in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, taught us about “Uotsukirin (fish-breeding forest),” a traditional idea of Japanese fishers, and how abundant forests are the very source of abundant seas.
Since then, Nissui has been engaged in activities based on the concept of a coordinated preservation of the “forest, river and sea” at various locations.
Mr. Shigeatsu Hatakeyama Talking About Tree Planting to Protect the Sea
Tottori Prefecture is the home of the Nissui Group companies Yumigahama Suisan Co., Ltd., which is engaged in the aquaculture and processing businesses and Kyowasuisan Kabushiki Kaisha, a fishery company. The farming-related facility of Yumigahama Suisan is located at the foot of Mt. Senjozan which is in Daisen-Oki National Park of Kotoura Town, Tottori Prefecture and trees in certain parts of the surrounding broad-leaved forest have died and required maintenance.
On October 30, 2018, Tottori Prefecture, Kotoura Town and Nissui entered into a forest preservation and management agreement in order to preserve the surrounding 5.933 hectares of forest as the “The forest that protects spring water nurturing fish and the sea.”
On April 7, 2020, the Nissui Group was certified as a collaborative business by the Japan Committee of the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity (UNDB-J) for this forest preservation activities.
Continual preservation work is essential to protecting forests.
At the Nissui Group, ever since we entered into the Agreement, we have been conducting employee participation-based preservation activities on a yearly basis. For the participants, these activities become a valuable formative experience in which they get a real sense of the interrelatedness of the “forest, river, and sea,” and their relationships to them. Moreover, through interactions with the people of Tottori Prefecture involved, it is an opportunity for participants to gain familiarity with the local culture and are able to cultivate relations among members of Group companies.
We held the third round of the preservation activities on October 17, 2020.
To accommodate concerns over infections of COVID-19, we limited participation to people affiliated with Nissui’s offices in Tottori, Yumigahama Suisan, Kyowa Suisan, Tottori Prefectural officials, and others within the prefecture. In carrying out the activities, preventative steps were taken in accordance with Tottori Prefecture’s manuals, steps such as checking people’s temperatures and wearing masks. The Exchange Meeting of Green Scouts (Note) was held on the same day, and we gave the three participating elementary school students lectures on the businesses of the Nissui Group and on forest, river, and sea-related topics.
A total of 33 people, including members of the Nissui Group, officials from Tottori Prefecture and the Town of Kotoura among others, as well as people involved in the Green Scouts, took part in the preservation activities that day. The participants labored diligently for around 40 minutes to clear underbrush while social distancing.
(Note) Green Scouts: The Green Scouts are an organization sponsored by the Tottori Prefecture Planting Trees Promotion Committee. Its purpose is to get the children who will eventually lead the next generation of society to familiarize themselves with greenery, develop an affection for it, and protect and nurture it, and in doing so cultivate an attachment to their home communities and grow into people with well-rounded minds and the capacity to love their fellow human beings.
“The Utsunuki Green Zone” is a “satoyama (village forests)” adjacent to the Nissui Tokyo Innovation Center, which was built in 2011. Despite being located in the Minamino, Hachioji City, an urban area, it is inhabited by fire flies and other living organisms, making it a veritable treasury trove of nature.
Every year since 2013, activities have been conducted, under the instruction of the “Utsunuki-Midori-no-Kai,” to preserve the natural environment in areas surrounding the business location and to promote co-existence with the regional community. The activities begin with a classroom lecture at the log house within the zone, in which participants learn about the connection between the “forest, river and sea,” as well as the flora and fauna of the "satoyama," which is followed by various tasks such as mowing the underbrush in the "satoyama.”
On June 15, 2019, activities were held for the seventh time and 34 employees and their families participated. Although it rained on that day, the participants enjoyed the natural environment of the green zone by taking part in activities such as observing plants, bamboo crafts and artwork using pressed leaves.
Nissui has been a supporting member of “Utsunuki-Midori-no-Kai” since fiscal 2015.