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HOME > Theme > Theme1 Improvement of the balance between an advanced use and sustainable use of biota and aquatic environment in coastal areas using marine spatial information
Theme1 Improvement of the balance between an advanced use and sustainable use of biota and aquatic environment in coastal areas using marine spatial information
Research theme leader: Sei-ichi Saitoh, Professor, Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University
Ocean forecast, not weather forecast?
For Theme 1, research has been conducted to enable transmission of oceanographic information to people working in the sea, via PCs and mobile phones.
First of all, it is important to know the current state of the sea; however, knowledge of the current state is not enough for people working in rapidly changing environments like the sea. Therefore, it is important to predict situations in advance, like weather forecasts do, to get ready for them. We are developing tools that will enable us to understand the current state and predict the future changes of the sea.
(1) Eyes watching the sea
Many earth observatory satellites are currently in use. Among them, ocean surveillance satellites continue to monitor the marine environment by measuring sea-surface temperature, phytoplankton concentration that is very important for marine organisms, etc.
(2) Sea Thermometer
The culture of scallops and kelp is popular along the coast of the Hakodate area. A less well-known fact is that they are very sensitive to water-temperature changes. To ensure their best growth and to understand their best harvest timings, it is essential to monitor water temperature.
This is where ubiquitous buoys and sea thermometers come in. Ubiquitous includes the meaning of “something is everywhere”. Anyone can easily install many ubiquitous buoys on the sea at a low coast. The buoys automatically measure water temperature from the sea surface to the bottom and email the results to you. This information will give you a detailed picture of the sea.
Ubiquitous buoys that measure water temperature are already in use. We are currently developing buoys that also have other functions such as predicting water temperature and measuring salinity and currents.
(3) Using information
Valuable information collected by satellites and buoys would be useless unless they can be used easily. We are currently developing fisheries ocean GIS (geographic information system) terminals, computers with which people working at sea can use easily for such information. The terminals summarize and display information sent from satellites and buoys and can be installed in ships and accessed from mobile phones.
(4) Weather forecast for the sea
A system that links these tools to predict sea conditions is called a ubiquitous marine environment forecasting system. By being able to predict sea conditions, we should be able to locate fish schools and harvest tasty, highly nutritious scallops and kelp. We aim to develop a user-friendly weather forecast system for the sea for more efficient work.
Distribution of phytoplankton (satellite observation)
Distribution of phytoplankton (satellite observation)

Ubiquitous buoy-thermometer on the sea
Ubiquitous buoy-thermometer on the sea

Water temperature is automatically measured.
Water temperature is automatically measured.

Weather forecast system for the sea
Weather forecast system for the sea
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