The Yellow Sea, bounded by China and the Korean Peninsula, is a rich fishing ground and marine environment that provides habitats for various wild creatures. In this regard, the WWF has specified the Yellow Sea as one of the natural environments in the world to be conserved. For the workshop, six persons came from China: Mr. Wang Nianbin, a senior researcher, and other researchers of Liaoning Ocean and Fisheries Science Research Institute, which promotes environmental conservation in the area along the coast of the Yellow Sea, and staff members of the WWF China. They visited the fishing ground of Kumamoto Prefecture for inspection and information exchange regarding sustainable marine resource management.
In the Liaoning Natural Reserve, local fishermen collect Hamaguri and Asari (common orient clams and Manila clams) for a living, but at the same time its tidal flat is undergoing reclamation for farming of sea cucumbers, etc. Conservation of the tidal flat and sustainable development of the fishery industry is major challenges. Researchers who participated from China said, "We are impressed with the administrative management system of Japan and voluntary control efforts diligently made by fishermen. Scientific knowledge of researchers is properly reflected, too."
WWF goodwill ambassador, Sakana-kun, a Japanese TV talent and fish seeker, also participated in the workshop. He accompanied the Chinese researchers on a boat to a tidal flat around three kilometers from the coast to observe a clam fishing ground. Even fish expert Sakana-kun was excited by this chance and exclaimed, "This is the first time for me to see real native Japanese Hamaguri and I am so excited! Since I was afraid they had gone extinct, I am deeply moved."
That evening, Sakana-kun held a talk show in Kumamoto City where he talked about the bountiful nature of the Yellow Sea and the seas around Japan. In front of an audience of over 350, including children and their parents as well as college students, he called for the support of protection of these rich seas.
The Yellow Sea Ecoregion Support Project is to be conducted for seven years from 2007 to 2014. Panasonic will continue to promote this activity so that it will become a world-class environmental conservation initiative.