The Giant Fish-Breeding Forest Hypothesis and its conservation

Takayuki Shiraiwa and Yasunori Hanamatsu
Research Institute for Humanity and Nature


The Amur–Okhotsk Project (AOP) attempted to create a new global environmental concept referred to as the “Giant” fish-breeding forest (GFBF) by expanding the traditional Japanese idea of Uotsuki-Rin (fish-breeding forest), which related upstream forest with the coastal ecosystem both physically and conceptually. The AOP found that primary production in the Sea of Okhotsk and Oyashio region depended on dissolved iron transported from the Amur River and its watershed. Therefore, the Amur River basin can be recognized as the “Giant” fish-breeding forest of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Oyashio region. This hypothesis presents new perspectives in global environmental issues: an ecological linkage between the continent and open sea, relating less dependent stakeholders in the system, and finding environmental common ground across coast lines and complex international boundaries. For the conservation of the GFBF we propose a new framework “North-Eastern Asia GFBF Partnership” by uniting existing conservation laws and institutions that were originally created to address various environmental problems in the system independently. On the basis of the scientific achievements with respect to the GFBF, we will also propose an “Agenda for the conservation of GFBF” through cooperation among Russia, China, and Japan.