New Wave Media

August 16, 2019

NYK Sponsors Endangered Sea Turtle Research

Attaching an Argos GPS beacon to a turtle’s shell (Photo: NYK Line)

Attaching an Argos GPS beacon to a turtle’s shell (Photo: NYK Line)

NYK has started a new approach to track loggerhead sea turtles* in the Kishu Minabe Sea Turtle Research Project sponsored by NYK and conducted by the NPO Earthwatch Japan.**

This research project is conducted at Minabecho in Wakayama prefecture, which is where most loggerhead sea turtles lay their eggs on the main island of Japan. The number of eggs spawned in one’s lifetime is counted with the aim of studying the sea turtle’s behavior patterns and keeping the turtles free of danger.

A total of 24 NYK Group employees and citizen volunteers participated in the research, which was divided into two sessions, one conducted on July 4–6 and another on July 11–13. The volunteers patrolled the beach at nighttime, helped attach identification tags to the turtles, and recorded and measured their shell lengths and widths as the turtles crossed the sandy beach to nest. This year is the fourth time since 2016 that NYK has sponsored this activity.

As a new approach, two loggerhead sea turtles were equipped with an Argos GPS beacon for tracking, especially their coastal movement during spawning. The two loggerhead sea turtles have been named “Umi-chan” and “Hana-chan,” and their locations are provided on the in-house portal site along with comments by the project's chief researcher, Yoshimasa Matsuzawa, chairman of the Sea Turtle Association of Japan. The site helps NYK Group employees deepen their interest in the marine environment.

NYK, as a good corporate citizen that recognizes environmental issues as a significant company challenge, participates in projects such as this to contribute to the achievement of better seas through preservation of the marine environment and biodiversity, which are closely related to our business.

This research program provides participants with intensive learning opportunities about changes to the environment and animal life, encourages action for sustainability, and will contribute to the below Sustainable Development Goals.

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