Development of environmental assessment for the impact of an oil spill and other accidental pollution on a marine ecosystem

Yuichi OSA, Ruriko TAHARA, Kazuhiro HAMAHARA, Hideyuki OTSUKA, Takunori KATO (Hokkaido Institute of Environmental Science), Masami KANEKO (Rakuno Gakuen University), Satoshi KAMEYAMA,  Hideaki MAKI (National Institute for Environmental Studies), Sei'ichi HAMADA, Kazuo KIDO (Geological Survey of Hokkaido), Shiro TAKAYANAGI* (Hokkaido Wakkanai Fisheries Experiment Station), Shuka MARUYAMA (Hokkaido Kushiro Fisheries Experiment Station), Iori TANAKA (Hokkaido Central Fisheries Experiment Station), Rika AKAMATSU, Katsuyoshi TANAKA (Envision Conservation Office)
*:Present, Hokkaido Central Fisheries Experiment Station


About 5,000 oil-contaminated seabirds were found along the Okhotsk Sea coast in Hokkaido from February to April, 2006. Unfortunately, the runoff source of oil has not yet been determined. For solutions of these problems, we tried to advance researches and developments as given below.

1) Chemical analysis of environmental pollutants – drifting oils, for example -

We collected oil-contaminated seabirds, oil balls and oils in drums that were found in the Okhotsk Sea coast area. Each oil sample was identified by each composition of hydrocarbons. Both the oils that adhered to the seabirds and one of oil balls were estimated as a sort of heavy fuel oil. However, the oils in the drums were lubricants. Therefore, the oils in the drums and ones adhering to the seabirds were unrelated. Because we cannot solve marine pollutions without the international cooperation, we need to consider an international common process of chemical analysis, data sharing and prevention for various environmental pollutions.

2) Land-Ocean Integrated Geographical Information System (GIS)

One of our aims is the integration of the marine ecosystem information into the existing GIS for understanding land ecosystem. First, we made prototype of information system, by that we can collect, accumulate and share information of driftage (ex. dead seabirds). By using a camera in mobile phone, a local resident can send positional information and image of driftage to central database system on the Internet. Second, we developed the buoy system for tracking oil spillage or other pollutions by GPS technology in real time. Third, for studying the interaction between land and marine ecosystems, we simulated dynamics of river water temperature with changing watershed ecosystem (ex. clear-cutting of floodplain forest). Forth, we obtained a background data of seabird population (ex. density at sea) by fisheries research vessels and overlaid theirs distributions with the ocean color images by satellites. We estimated the some relationships among the seabird distribution, the sea surface temperature and/or chlorophyll a concentration. Finally we would like to present an outline of Land-Ocean Integrated GIS.



長 雄一・田原るり子・濱原和広・大塚英幸・加藤拓紀(北海道環境科学研究センター)・金子正美(酪農学園大学)・亀山  哲・牧 秀明(国立環境研究所)・濱田誠一・木戸和男(北海道立地質研究所)・高柳志朗*(北海道立稚内水産試験場)・丸山秀佳(北海道立釧路水産試験場)・田中伊織(北海道立中央水産試験場)・赤松里香・田中克佳(Envision環境保全事務所)
*:現所属 北海道中央水試