In recognition of the importance of the preservation of biodiversity, the Nissui Group revised its Environmental Code in 2014 and upholds preservation of biodiversity in its Policies.
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.
No. of participants to date
(Green Scouts +
Supervisors/ Prefectural staff, etc.)
No. of trees planted to date (Selected from local tree species)
|Japanese horse chestnut||Painted maple||Yamazakura cherry|
Since FY2021, we have been collaborating with Tottori University to conduct a forest survey with the aim of making our conservation activities more scientific. The results of the study showed that about 80% of the seedlings planted in our activities in FY2018-2019 were active and growing well as of 2021. We will undertake another survey of the vegetation inside and around the “Forest that Protects Spring Water Nurturing the Fish and the Sea,” and plan to make further use of local species of trees in our tree-planting activities in FY2020 and beyond. We hope to further improve our activities so that we can establish a forest that is closer to one that would naturally occur and that we can preserve the forest in a practical manner.
Due to the impact of the COVID-19 spread in FY2021, the Nissui-sponsored preservation event was cancelled; however, the "Green Scouts (Note) Exchange Meeting" organized by the Tottori Prefecture Planting Trees Promotion Committee was held on September 11, and representatives from Nissui/Kyowa Fishery participated in a meeting held online. During the lecture portion of the meeting, in addition to introducing the Nissui Group's business, we explained the connection between forests, rivers, and the sea, and conveyed the motivation behind a fisheries company's involvement in forest conservation. Sixteen 5th and 6th graders from Tottori Prefecture participated in the exchange meeting, and after taking part in woodworking and other activities, they then worked up a sweat for about an hour clearing underbrush in the Nissui Forest.
(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 UNDB-J is a committee formed in September 2011 aiming to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (Note), which encourages the engagement and collaboration of all domestic sectors and promotes initiatives for the preservation and the sustainable utilization of biodiversity. As one of its activities, the UNDB-J certifies collaborative businesses and evaluates the recommended activities in the projects undertaken by UNDB-J member organizations and related government agencies, from various perspectives including “cooperation with diverse entities,” “the materiality of initiatives,” and “the effects of announcing the initiatives.”
On April 7, 2020, the Nissui Group was certified as a collaborative business by the UNDB-J for its forest preservation activities in the “Forest that Protects Spring Water Nurturing the Fish and the Sea .” Going forward, the Nissui Group will continue to collaborate with various stakeholders and engage in activities to achieve one of the key issues, “Preserve the bountiful sea and promote the sustainable utilization of marine resources and their procurement.”
(Note): The United Nations has designated the period from 2011 to 2020 as the “United Nations Decade on Biodiversity.” At the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) held in Nagoya on October 2010, the “Aichi Targets,” new global targets for the preservation of biodiversity, were adopted.
The Logo of UNDB-J
“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 November 14, 2020, activities were conducted for the eighth time. Having downsized the activities as a measure against COVID-19 infections, twelve Nissui employees participated. On the day, participants repaired the stairs and cleared the underbrush in the Green Zone.
Nissui has been a supporting member of “Utsunuki-Midori-no-Kai” since fiscal 2015.
Piping Plovers, which have been categorized as Near Threatened (NT) on the IUCN Red List (Note 1), are an endangered species to New England, the North East region of the USA and the home of Gorton’s, the Nissui Group company. The Piping Plovers’ habitat is the coast line and the intrusion by people and dogs, among others, on their nesting sites is said to be the cause of their decline.
Many volunteers are participating in activities to protect the Piping Plovers at Good Harbor Beach in the port town of Gloucester Massachusetts, the home of Gorton’s. In 2018, as a result of the various efforts by volunteers including members of Gorton’s, many eggs were hatched on the shore.
In 2019, the second year of the partnership with the City of Gloucester and various organizations (Note 2), Gorton’s carried out activities to protect the Piping Plovers during their breeding season. Piping Plovers tend to lay their eggs from the end of May to the beginning of June. Therefore, the volunteers decided to keep watch over the chicks for the few months after they were hatched when they were their most vulnerable. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays of every week during June and July, the volunteers walked around the Good Harbor Beach for an hour to protect the chicks from the people and dogs on the beach. As a result of the efforts of all those involved, three of the four surviving chicks hatched from the eggs and were able to fly away from the beach.
In 2020, no activities to protect Piping Plovers took place as entry into the coastline serving as their habitat had been banned due to the impact of the spread of COVID-19 infections. As far as Piping Plovers are concerned, the entry ban is deemed likely to have a positive impact on their protection, even though the situation is tough.
(Note 1) IUCN Red List: List of endangered species compiled by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Information on over 90,000 species are posted on its site, and the Red List compiled by Japan’s Ministry of the Environment and its assessment are based on this list.
(Note 2) The Gloucester Conservation Department, Essex County Greenbelt, Mass Wildlife, and Gloucester DPW.
On May 30, 2020, using an online meeting tool, we held an environment-related event on the topic of coral. As many people stay at home due to the spread of COVID-19, a total of 113 people comprising Nissui Group employees and their family members from all over the country joined in the event.
Innoqua Inc., which was our partner in this event, is a venture company that originated in the University of Tokyo and whose stated mission is to “Deliver to people the value of nature.” Using “artificial ecosystem technologies” that recreate the ecosystems of coral reefs and others in aquariums, the company engages in all sorts of environmental education aimed at spreading the message of the value of ecosystems, preserving them, and utilizing them.