February 10, 2018. Takaya Kitamura, a United Graduate School of Agricultural Sciences (UGAS) doctoral candidate and current vice president of the Ainan Sango wo Mamoru Kyougikai (Ainan Coral Preservation Group), presented the group’s activities at the Dai-ichi Seimei Hall in Tokyo.
The Ainan Coral Preservation Group was established to protect coral in Ainan by securing subsidies and participating in the fisheries multifunctional projects organized by the Fisheries Agency. The group consists of about 20 members who work in fisheries, government, and companies, and also students. The group’s activities include monitoring coral, controlling organisms that damage coral (crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci), snails), and promoting the multifunctional activities of fisheries (e.g., environmental education).
Takaya Kitamura is a UGAS student under the supervision of Prof. Takeshi Miura and is conducting research on infestations of coral-eating snails. As a master’s degree student at Tokai University, he researched the distribution and ecology of corals. Professor Miura’s laboratory is now based in Matsuyama, but when Kitamura enrolled in the doctoral program in UGAS, the laboratory was located at the South Ehime University Fisheries Center in Ainan. While there, a member of the Ainan Coral Preservation Group asked him to join the group. Using his research experience, he provides advice to the group about monitoring and controlling activities.
His presentation was reported in the February 11 edition of the Ehime Newspaper.
The group’s activities are expected to help protect and remediate the coral habitat in Ainan and thus sustain and rehabilitate the local environment.