Satsuki Matsumura
ADEOS Fisheries Application Team Leader
National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries

On January 30, 1996, JAXA and the Fisheries Agency concluded a research agreement at a ceremony attended by Mr. Tanaka, Director General of EORC; Dr. Toba, Chief Scientist of EORC; and other staff from JAXA. Director Generals of all National Fisheries Research Institutes were invited to the ceremony. There are nine National Research Institutes and about 40 local Fisheries Research Stations in Japan. Director Generals of all those National Research Institutes and three Prefecture Research Stations formally agreed to join the Satellite Remote Sensing Research Group. Dr. Takeshi Hara, Director General of the National Research Institution of Fisheries Science signed the agreement on behalf of the entire fisheries research group. He announced constitution of a new research group named The Science Society of Marine Ecology Observing System. The objective of the Society is to provide a forum to all Satellite Oceanographers in the Fisheries Agency for effective scientific interaction.

Since fisheries oceanography mainly deals with the study of oceanographic phenomena related to fish activity, the importance of proper mapping of marine structure and movement was realized much before the beginning of the satellite age. The Japan Fisheries Information Service Center (JAFIC) has been using NOAA AVHRR SST data to delineate fishing grounds for fishermen since 1981. For further research on fisheries resources and biology, knowledge about primary production is considered essential. To pursue the study of the above subjects, a high- accuracy ocean color sensor like CZCS on Nimbus-7 was launched in 1978 and highly accurate chlorophyll concentration data were acquired from oceans all over the world. Against this background, the Fisheries Agency formally requested the Science and Technology Agency (STA) to develop a marine biology oriented satellite remote sensor in 1982. STA decided to develop OCTS as the ADEOS core sensor in 1987, and the Ministry of Finance endorsed it.

From 1987 to 1994, Dr. S. Matsumura, who is presently Oceanographic Division Director of the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries, has been working as OCTS Mission team leader. During this period, research funds were generated by the Fisheries Agency for basic study of marine remote sensing. Dr. H. Fukushima of Tokai University, who is responsible for the OCTS atmospheric correction system, has been receiving research funds for practical atmospheric correction algorithms from the Fisheries Agency since 1985.

The ocean color remote sensing study is not only useful for fisheries related information but also necessary for basic biological oceanographic studies such as the primary productivity of the ocean and food chain dynamics dealing with primary producers (phytoplankton). This is also considered an important source of information for carbon circulation study. To derive high-quality chlorophyll concentration data, it is essential to validate satellite data in conjunction with in situ data. Hence Japan plans to use the fisheries research fleet, which has 10 research vessels, to collect in situ chlorophyll and optical data along with other oceanographic parameters such as temperature and salinity to validate the chlorophyll algorithms. JAXA decided to provide OCTS Direct Transmission for Local Users (DTL) receiving systems and other data analyzing systems to oceanographers belonging to the seven national fisheries research institutes and three prefectural fisheries stations who participate in the Satellite Remote Sensing Research Group.

They are supposed to analyze OCTS data and compare it daily with relevant in situ data. As a result, OCTS data will be checked with field data almost every day. JAXA and the Fisheries Agency will be jointly responsible for ensuring the quality of OCTS data as well as fisheries oceanographic research outputs. In particular, they will pursue research on recruitment aspects in relation to fish resources, which is closely connected to marine physical and biological conditions, using satellite-derived information. Fish migration will also be studied.

It is evident from the above that an organized system has been evolved to undertake the OCTS-related research program. Cooperation of all concerned will be required to use the system effectively .


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