October 24, 2016

Merit of Japan says to list Pacific bluefin to CITES Appendix II/III
Date: Sat, 22 Oct 2016 21:07:52 +0900
Dear all,
[Pacific Islands fail to agree plan to protect tuna]
I have found one idea for Pacific bluefin.tuna.
If Japan propose to list PBF in CITES Appendix II, Taiwan and other nations cannot export PBF to Japan..Because Japan is the biggest consumer of PBT, other nations did not propose this idea. But Japan can do.
The listing is not my ultimate goal, but Japan can convince other Pacific islands nations to make a consensus of a stronger regulation of PBT fisheries in WCPFC. Therefore, Japan cannot say an excuse that consensus failed because Pacific islands disagreed.
Even though CITES does not agree with this listing. I think Japan can list it in CITES appendix III only by Japanese decision.
Therefore, environmental groups can push Japan to make a leadership for consensus building.




October 22, 2016



I compare two figures for spawning stock biomass of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT), in 2009 and 2014. The former was used to support listing of it to CITES Appendix I in 2010. This was rejected. Recently ABT is recognized as a success story of stock recovery. But... it did NOT decrease in 2000s.
Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 14:34:27 +0900
 Stock assessment older than 20 yrs (maybe >maximum age class of ABT) is robust.
but recent stock estimation will be revised, because it is based on a cohort
analysis using catch-at-age data. 


Read more »



I compare two figures for spawning stock biomass of eastern Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABT), in 2009 and 2014. The former was used to support listing of it to CITES Appendix I in 2010. This was rejected. Recently ABT is recognized as a success story of stock recovery. But... it did NOT decrease in 2000s.
 Stock assessment older than 20 yrs (maybe >maximum age class of ABT) is robust.
but recent stock estimation will be revised, because it is based on a cohort
analysis using catch-at-age data. 


Read more »

August 13, 2016

I talk about UNESCO's Biosphere Reserves and Carbon offset in "Training for realizing a society in harmony with nature for the JICA-SDBEC Program, on 1 August 2016, at JICA Yokohama:

  1. Biosphere reserves are models of sustainable development in the WNBR; (see MAB Strategy 2015-2025)
  2. Indulgence controversy: Some activists disagree with the principle of carbon offsets, likening them to Roman Catholic indul-gences, a way for the guilty to pay for absolution rather than changing their behavior.... Proponents hold that the indulgence analogy is flawed because they claim carbon offsets actually reduce carbon emissions, changing the business as usual, and therefore address the root cause of climate change. (see en.wikipedia.org)
  3. The end of the Oil Age: “The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil.” the quotation is from Sheikh Zaki Yamani, a past oil minister of Saudi Arabia (in 1970’s). Because he believes that something fundamental



    has shifted since that first oil shock. Finally, advances in technology are beginning to offer a way for economies, especially those of the developed world, to diversify their supplies of energy and reduce their demand for petroleum, thus loosening the grip of oil and the countries that produce it. (see www.economist.com  Oct 23rd 2003)
  4. Ivan the fool and Biodiversity Credit: Ivan‘s wife said to the old devil: “You must excuse my sister-in-law; she will not allow any one to sit at the table whose hands have not been hardened by toil, so you will have to wait until the dinner is over and then you can have what is left… "Ivan: "We all work with our hands." The devil: "And for that reason you are fools, I can teach you how to use your brains, and you will find such labor more beneficial." Ivan was surprised: "Well, it is perhaps not without good reason that we are called fools." The devil: "It is not so easy to work with the brain," (see http://www.bartleby.com/ebook/adobe/3172.pdf)
My Conclusion: 

  1. Now, Environmental offsets/credits and Payment for Ecosystem Services are good incentives to promote global environment-friendly economy and green ethics.
  2. It is not indulgence if it really reduces environmental impacts
  3. But,… we’d like to respect to nature and real ecosystem producers (farmers).

June 21, 2016

Anachronism on illusion of density-independence in biology

Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 16:49:41 +0900
A leader of Japanese fisheries scientist, Kazumi Sakuramoto, wrote an article "Illusion of a density-dependent effect in biology"

I was much surprised that this article was accepted by a journal "Agricultural Sciences".

I have the following comments:
1. It is well known that a simple statistical test of correlation makes an artifact of density dependence (Dennis & Taper 1994).
2. But there is a rigorous method to detect density dependence (Dennis & Taper 1994). Not a few real time series showed statistically significant density dependence, although we cannot detect density dependence from some poor time series.
3. (Lack of density-dependence) have now been rejected on logical grounds, and it is generally accepted that population regulation cannot occur in the absence of density dependence (Turchin 1995).
4. Definitely density-dependence and environmental fluctuation are not mutually exclusive. It has been well known in international fisheries management organizations.
5. MSY [Maximum sustainable yield] theory is definitely based on density-dependence, but it does not mean that MSY theory must be adopted if density dependence really exists.

References
Sakuramoto K (2015) Illusion of a Density-Dependent Effect in Biology. Agricultural Sciences, 6: 479-488
Turchin P (1995) Population regulation: old arguments and a new synthesis. N. Cappuccino, P.W. Price (Eds.), Population Dynamics, Academic Press (1995), pp. 19–40
Dennis B, Taper ML (1994) Density dependence in time series observations of natural populations: Estimation and testing. Ecol Monogr 64:205-224.

June 17, 2016

Illusion of a Density-Dependent Effect in Biology? Incredible back to a 1950s controversy.
http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/as.2015.65047

Population changes are believed to be controlled by multiple factors, including an important density-dependent effect. This paper reviews the literature on this topic and shows that this density-dependent effect does not exist. This paper also gives a typical example in which no density-dependent effect was detected in the stock-recruitment relationship in Japanese sardines. The recruitment was found to be determined in proportion to the spawning stock biomass and to be affected by environmental factors. This simple mechanism is applicable not only in fish species but also in insects such as Thrips imaginis in Australia. The reason that many biologists have not become aware that the density-dependent effect does not exist is discussed using a metaphor. This paper proposes a new concept in the study of population change. The new concept proposed here will replace the currently used basic concept that has been assumed to be correct for more than 50 years.

May 1, 2016

Tours feeding endangered wild owls in Shiretoko

According to Asahi Newspaper of December 8, 2015, Visitors to Shiretoko are "able to witness the Blakiston's fish owl up close in a special program organized by the Shiretoko Rausu Tourism Association in Rausu, a town in the Shiretoko Peninsula of eastern Hokkaido." Unlike the policy of other nations such as Yellowstone National Park in USA, "Live fish are placed inside a small pool surrounded by rocks within the river and it is here that the bird can be watched by the tourists." In Yellowstone, "Do not feed any wild animals, including birds and squirrels."
Because this species is critically endangered in Japan, the Environment Ministry of Japan "started working on the conservation of the owls from 1984, mainly by setting up feeding stations and bird houses in its habitat."
The Shiretoko was  selected as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. An Environment Ministry official said, "We hope it [this tour] progresses smoothly in the right direction.” A tour guide said, “Down here, the Blakiston's fish owl shows its true form in the wild."
According to Asahi Newspaper of March 8 (in Japanese), The Ministry of Environment decided a new policy not to accept such a feeding tour. For the Shiretoko area, these owls have never been fed by the government project. The Shiretoko population of this species is a big source and Shiretoko is a World Heritage site.
Japan Air Lines advertised a tour including this fish-owl show on the March 2016 issue of JAL in-flight magazine SKYWARD. But this advertisement disappeared on Skyward website by mid March.  
As of April 30, the Rausu sightseeing association still continues this tour.
See also my opinion on the Asahi WEBRONZA of March 15, 2016 (in Japanese).