At present, some of the sources of marine plastic litter are known to be lost and abandoned fishing gear, which is referred to as "ghost gear," "ALDFG" (Note 1), etc. Through SeaBOS (Note 2), Nissui has joined GGGI (Note 3) and is also making efforts to prevent fishing gear used by fishery companies and aquaculture companies in the Nissui Group in Japan from flowing out into the ocean. Furthermore, in the unlikely event that fishing gear has been lost or abandoned, this information will be shared within the Nissui Group, and efforts will be made to prevent its recurrence.
(Note 1): Abandoned, Lost or otherwise Discarded Fishing Gear.
(Note 2): Seafood Business for Ocean Stewardship.
(Note 3): Global Ghost Gear Initiative. An international body working to prevent fishing gear from flowing out into the ocean.
The Nissui Group will manage fishing gear in a thoroughgoing manner not only to prevent fishing gear from flowing out into the ocean but also to help reduce accidents involving the breakage of fishing gear (operation loss, escaped cultured fish and other factors that affect the ecosystem) and work-related accidents.
We are enhancing fishing gear management rules at all aquaculture companies and fishery companies in the Nissui Group in Japan. Our existing fishing gear management rules at the individual company level have been reviewed afresh from the viewpoint of preventing fishing gear from flowing out into the ocean by using GGGI’s “Best Practice Framework for the Management of Fishing Gear” (a guideline for fishing gear management targeting persons involved in fishery business, consisting of prevention, mitigation and remediation) as reference. These fishing gear management rules include equipment condition checks, employee education, appropriate disposal of used fishing gear, and reporting procedures, etc., in the unlikely event that fishing gear has been lost or abandoned.
|Number of educating companies||Number of times conducted||Example of targets||Example of content||Total number of participants|
|All aquaculture companies in the Nissui Group in Japan||6 out of 6 companies||13 times||All employees in aquaculture department||Necessity of fishing gear management/marine plastics problem||243 persons|
|Fishery companies in the Nissui Group in Japan||1 out of 1 company||2 times||Employees in purse seine fishery department/marine affairs department/vessel department, etc.||Appropriate disposal of waste generated inside vessels||21 persons|
We standardized reporting procedures and matters to be reported in the unlikely event that fishing gear has been lost or abandoned. Within the Group, it is mandatory for the staff at the site of each aquaculture company/fishery company to report such an incident to the company representative, who must then report it to Nissui’s executive officer. Outside the Group, a report must be made to relevant organizations, etc. Matters to be reported are standardized among all companies, including basic information (i.e., when, where, what, how and why), in addition to the recoverability of such fishing gear and preventive measures for the future.
Objects washed ashore after a natural disaster (e.g., typhoon) pose a big problem. These include plastics, including fishing gear such as floats, which not only affect the scenery and the coastal environment but are also costly and require a lot of manpower to deal with them. Farm Choice Co., Ltd., a Nissui Group company in Japan, collected polystyrene foam floats stranded on tetrapods together with its clients around its sea-surface farming site in Amakusa City, Kumamoto Prefecture after typhoons passed the region in summer.
|Region/Country||Number of units recovered|
|Recovery of objects washed ashore (polystyrene foam floats)||Japan||10 to 15 units, including fragments (Note)|
(Note): Polystyrene foam floats have never flowed out from Farm Choice’s farming site; these floats are owned by other business operators.
Float stranded on a tetrapod
Transporting a recovered float
Goal of the Nissui Group
By the end of FY2024, the Nissui Group will cease the use of polystyrene foam floats in nylon covers for use in aquaculture and completely switch over to floats that have a lower risk of becoming plastic that outflows into the ocean.
The Nissui Group is engaged in the farming of salmon and trout outside Japan, and of yellowtail, tuna, coho salmon, mackerel, red sea bream, and others in Japan. Traditionally, mostly polystyrene foam floats wrapped in nylon covers have been used in marine aquaculture operations in Japan (Note 1), but compared to other types of floats, the nylon covers inferior in terms of strength, and there are concerns over the risk that, if they happen to tear, the polystyrene inside them could break apart and outflow into the ocean. Given that problem, in FY2019, we conducted a study on the number of nylon-covered polystyrene foam floats owned and their use by the Group as a whole. Furthermore, we made the decision to cease the use of such floats entirely throughout the Nissui Group by the end of FY2024 and replace them with floats that have a lower risk of outflowing into the ocean. (Note 2) The Group as a whole will continue to study the use of fishery gear with a lower risk of outflowing out into the ocean and to work to address the problem of marine plastic through our businesses.
Floats used in marine aquaculture
Before switchover: Nylon-covered polystyrene foam floats
Post-switchover example: PE-coated polystyrene foam floats
(Note 1): We were able to confirm that the marine aquaculture fisheries of Group companies outside Japan are not using nylon-covered polystyrene foam floats.
(Note 2): PE-coated polystyrene foam floats or hollow resin floats.
“Upcycling” means utilizing waste, items no longer needed and other things that would have otherwise been discarded and transforming them into other products. In fiscal 2021, Nissui worked jointly with the Yamaguchi Prefectural Government, Marukyu Co., Ltd. and TerraCycle Japan on “ONE FOR OCEAN,” a private-public upcycling project utilizing marine plastic litter. This project has been adopted as a model project in the “FY2021 Local Blue Ocean Vision Project” of the Ministry of the Environment.
[From left] Masamitsu Ono (General Manager of Chushikoku Branch, Nissui), Tsugumasa Muraoka (Governor of Yamaguchi Prefecture), Yasuo Tanaka (President of Marukyu Co., Ltd.) and Eric Kawabata (APAC General Manager of TerraCycle Japan)
“Upcycled” shopping basket
“ONE FOR OCEAN” poster
Marine litter including plastics is said to originate from the land, mainly from the cities but its discharge routes are not known. From fiscal 2018, Nissui has been a supporter of Pirika Inc., which is committed to the Albatross Project that aims to investigate the facts surrounding plastics flowing into the ocean and has commenced concrete approaches in dealing with the problems of the marine environment and the problem of plastics flowing into the ocean, which are directly connected to Nissui’s business.
Details of the Albatross Project which aims to investigate the facts surrounding the problem of plastics flowing into the ocean
Development of research methods : Develop an effective method of research on the flow of plastics into the ocean.
Clarification of the flow mechanism : Study the mechanism of plastics flowing into the ocean (flow routes and flow items) and narrow down the problem.
Study and implementation of measures : Study, prioritize and implement measures to combat the problem of plastics flowing into the ocean.