Keynote Speakers

From various fields, Keynote speakers will talk about the current situation surrounding aquariums based on the each theme.
Let's think about our future through ocean!

Keynote Ⅰ Nov.7

Theme: Pollution of the Water Planet

Michio Komatsu

Introduction of Practical Technologies for Reduction of Micro Plastic Pollution by Injection Molded Products Made of Biodegradable Plastic Resin, Poly Lactic Acid (PLA)

Marine litter by Petroleum-based plastic product causes micro plastic pollution in the world. To reduce its pollution, plant-based biodegradable plastic product is considered as one of the practical solution. By the way of replacing petroleum-based plastic products with PLA, we could reduce the total volume of waste changing to micro plastic. Composting process accelerates biodegradation of PLA and in the ocean, aquatic microbe also biodegrades PLA though it takes so longer time than composting.

Michio Komatsu

Pollution of the Water PlanetMaster of Monodzukuri (Manufacturing), Mr. Michio Komatsu is a President of Komatsu & Associates, the consulting firm of plastic injection molding technology. He is a fellow of Japan Society of Plastics Technology and The Institution of Professional Engineers, Japan. He was born in Ena, a fishing village, Iwaki, Fukushima. He has 280 patented inventions of biodegradable plastic products in the world. His inventions were awarded Innovator of Innovators by LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Forum organized by NASA and United States Department of States (2012). He was a Cluster Ambassador of Rhone-Alpes region in France (2012-2016).
He was awarded Prizes for Science and Technology, Technology Category, The Commendation for Science and Technology by The Minister of Education, Sports, Science and Technology (2017) and Prime Minister's Award of The Monodzukuri Nippon (Japan's Manufacturing) Grand Award (2018). His PLA products were exhibited at National Museum of Nature and Science by Japanese government (2018).

Keynote Ⅱ Nov.7

Theme: In-situ Conservation Activities

Flegra Bentivegna

Sea Turtles in the Mediterranean: A Dangerous Journey for Their Survival

Mediterranean Sea turtles constantly "sail" in hazardous waters seriously threatening their survival. This population is endangered by anthropic activities as bycatch, marine pollution, the use of nesting beaches for recreational activities and climate change. The current conservation efforts cannot be successful whether based only on laws and regulations. They should be mainstreamed in a common shared strategy going well beyond the socio-economic, cultural and ethnic Mediterranean barriers.

Flegra Bentivegna

In-situ Conservation ActivitiesGraduated in Biological Sciences, Dr. Flegra Bentivegna has directed the Aquarium and the scientific museum of the Dohrn Zoological Station of Naples from 1980 to 2013. In 1986, she has created the first European public rescue center for marine turtles in danger. She is currently working as consultant for the UNEP/MAP Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas for the definition and implementation of the Action Plan for the conservation of marine turtles in the Mediterranean and is member of the IUCN Marine Turtles Specialist Group. Dr. Bentivegna has recently set up marine turtles rescue centers in different Mediterranean Countries. All along her career, she has organized workshops and conferences worldwide, from Asia to the States, and is author of numerous publications. In 2015, she was awarded from the "Sea Turtle Society" for her commitment towards marine turtles conservation.

Keynote Ⅲ Nov.8

Theme: Philosophy in Nature, and Aquarium

Takahiro Yamana

Samurai and Falconer

Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542 - 1616) was a Shogun, a general, of about 300 feudal lords. He loved falconry for his entire life. After his death, he was enshrined as God (Gongen-sama) in the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, and a graceful picture of hawk was placed there. It was the era when Japanese falconry was developed.

Takahiro Yamana

Philosophy in Nature, and AquariumDr. Takahiro Yamana is the 51st chief priest of the Ohkunitama Shrine and also a vice-chair of the Association of Fukushima Shinto Shrines. Graduating from Kokugakuin University with a major in History, college of literature, he completed a PhD at Kokugakuin University. He has served as a teacher of history and ethics for many years at Fukushima Prefectural high schools. He also has served as a vice-principal of Shinchi High School and Yumoto High School and as a principal of Ono High School. Besides teaching, he worked on a research of falconry of Japanese feudal lords in the Sengoku Period. His books include "Chiikigaku no Komichi (Regional Studies)" and "Sengoku Feudal Lords and Falconry". His research paper theme was "Medieval Falconry".

Keynote Ⅳ Nov.8

Theme: Research Activities in Aquarium

Hiroshi Kabasawa

Looking Back the Research Activities for Technical Improvement on Aquarium Display

Devices and findings in research for development of aquarium displays carried out in the past will be presented as follows: luminescence of pine-cone fish, ECG of eel, electric sensitivity of shark, and others. His work of personal research on circadian rhythms of locomotor activities in the hagfish will be also highlighted.

Hiroshi Kabasawa

Research Activities in AquariumDr. Hiroshi Kabasawa is a former director of Keikyu Aburatsubo Marine Park Aquarium. The physiological phenomena occurring in living aquatic creatures are attractive assignments to be applied on aquarium display. During around 50 years in his career there, he had engaged in setting up for testing the physiological activities of fishes with environmental factors affecting them. The devices including his work were of great use in materializing an aquarium exhibit to the public. He was a member of editorial board of the Journal of Japanese Association of Zoos and Aquariums, JAZA (1997-2017), and was vice chairman of the Museum Association of Kanagawa Prefecture (2011-2017). He was awarded from Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, Japan (1991) and completed a PhD (1994).

Keynote Ⅴ Nov.9

Theme: Education in Aquarium

Koji Takada

Challenge to Diverse Aquarium Education

Education in aquariums is often thought to be just conducting activities and spreading materials and information on aquatic creatures and environment. However, he thinks this is only a half of the role and tries to make aquariums a place where people can learn and communicate.

Koji Takada

Education in AquariumAfter graduating from Tokai University in 1976, Dr. Koji Takada started working at Ohita Ecological Aquarium. He was involved in the establishment of the Marine World Uminonakamichi in 1988 and has worked until 2015. During the period, he served as the Director for 12 years. In 2005, he completed a PhD with the research theme "Research on the Role of Aquarium in Marine Education". His main research topics include museum education, curator training, mutual collaboration of museums, and educational utilization of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). His current research at Fukuyama University in Hiroshima prefecture focuses on "Education in aquariums" and "Regional collaboration". His motto is "Aquarium is the educational industry".

Keynote Ⅵ Nov.9

Theme: Fisheries and Role of Aquarium

Hisashi Kurokura

Fishery: A Relation Between Human Being and Sea

Human being has used aquatic product through fishery, aquaculture, distribution, processing and cooking in its long history, has understood aquatic organisms and environment, and has accumulated knowledges covering various discipline. The speaker will follow the history and consider the relation between aquatic organisms and human being.

Hisashi Kurokura

Fisheries and Role of AquariumDr. Hisashi Kurokura is professor emeritus, The University of Tokyo and Director of Hunet ASA (authorized NPO). He studied aquaculture technology in graduate school. He expanded his research field to environment science, ecology and social science as a professor of laboratory of global fisheries. After his retirement (March 2016), he is working in social development of a village in Philippines as a volunteer. He wrote more than hundred of scientific papers and several books relating to the radioactive pollution of ocean, elementary education of fisheries, coastal ecology of southeast Asia, and social development of coastal community.

Keynote Ⅶ Nov.10

Theme: Aquarium Design and Construction

Masaru Asaishi

Healthy Mountains Make Healthy Oceans

Through designing process of animal and plant facilities such as Tropical Dream Center, Nagasaki Biopark, and Insectarium of Tama Zoological Park, the concept of "Environmental Aquarium" was formed. How the concept was realized in Aquamarine Fukushima will be explained in this talk.

Masaru Asaishi

Aquarium Design and ConstructionMr. Masaru Asaishi graduated from Department of Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Musashi Institute of Technology in 1970. He started designing six months before graduation and joined the Nihon Sekkei in 1972. He engaged in architectural designing related to animals and plants in the late 1970s. In the middle of 1980s, he finally started to design for humans. In 2000, he returned to works related to animals and plants again, and those include Aquamarine Fukushima, Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Gardens, and Fukuoka City Zoological Garden. Many of his works emphasized environments. Some examples are clubhouse, hairy buildings covered with greenery, and glassy architectures with an intimate relationship between inside and outside.

Keynote Ⅷ Nov.10

Theme: Economy of Aquarium

Suzanne M. Gendron

Aquariums: Economic Engines for Our Communities but How Do We Help the Planet also?

Aquariums economically support their communities through providing jobs and their purchasing power but are expensive to run. We will explore how to keep aquariums economically sustainable and also how aquariums support conservation through addressing the socio-economic needs of the communities where preserving biodiversity is most threatened.

Suzanne M. Gendron

Economy of AquariumMs. Suzanne M. Gendron is the Executive Director of Zoological Operations and Conservation in Ocean Park Hong Kong. She is responsible for all aspects of Ocean Park's diverse live animal collection, which includes dolphins, giant pandas, sharks, fishes and more. She oversees the Park's various conservation programmes, as well as ensures the Parkcs conservation commitment is fulfilled whilst also acting as the Foundation Director for the Ocean Park Conservation Foundation Hong Kong which aims to conserve Asian biodiversity. Prior to her twenty years with Ocean Park, she had sixteen years of experience with Sea World California, USA and five years with SeaWorld Indonesia. She is the Board member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums based in the USA, as well as an advisor to the Belantara Conservation Foundation in Indonesia and member of the IUCN Conservation Planning Specialist Group.

Session themes are same as the themes of keynote speeches.

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