Material maker tries to revive seaweed beds(浪江「日化ボード」藻場復元挑戦)

(数字はいいね)  このエントリーをはてなブックマークに追加 
Hidenobu Asada holds a wooden fiber cement board to be installed on the seabed in Onahama fishing port in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture, last month. The Nikka Board president is trying to defeat groundless fears caused by the nuclear crisis and find a way out of the difficult situation by launching a new project.(海底に設置する木毛セメント板を手にする朝田さん。風評被害に屈することなく、新たな事業に活路を見いだす=12月15日、いわき市・小名浜漁港)

NAMIE, Fukushima -- A construction material maker based in Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, has embarked on a project to restore seaweed beds using wooden fiber cement boards, in the hope of reviving the fishery environment in the prefecture and boosting demand for locally produced wood.
 Nikka Board started in mid-December an experiment to prove the boards will be effective in restoring seaweed beds in Onahama fishing port in Iwaki.

 東日本大震災、東京電力福島第1原発事故後の2013(平成25)年4月、避難指示解除準備区域の浪江町北幾世橋の本社で操業を再開した建築資材メーカー「日化ボード」=朝田英信社長(66)=は15日、いわき市の小名浜漁港内で、木材を細く削り取った木毛(もくもう)とセメントを混ぜて固めた主力製品の木毛セメント板を使い、海藻が生育する藻場(もば)を復元する実証試験を開始した。

 The project is the first of its kind in the prefecture, and the company hopes it will also help expand the applications of its products amid sluggish business in the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the following nuclear crisis in 2011.

 県内初の試みで、風評被害で受注が減少した自社製品の用途拡大にとどまらず、本県漁業環境の回復、県産木材の需要拡大にもつながる取り組みとして期待される。

 Nikka Board resumed operations at its headquarters in the Kitakiyohashi district of Namie in April 2013. The district is located in an area designated as where preparations should be made for the return of residents who have been evacuated.
 Due to groundless fears following the nuclear crisis, Nikka Board has faced significant declines in orders. Its overall sales also have yet to recover to the level before the disaster.
 The company is now trying to commercialize seaweed reefs, (see clip) which are indispensable for the formation of seaweed beds, by installing the boards -- made of cement and shredded wood -- on the seabed. The boards are wrapped with threads to which spores of seaweed are attached.

 同社は、原発事故による風評被害で受注が落ち込み、全体の売り上げも震災前の水準に戻らない中、海藻の胞子を付着させた糸を巻き付けた木毛セメント板を海底に設置し、藻場形成に不可欠な「藻礁(もしょう)」として商品化する新たな事業に乗り出した。

 Wooden fiber cement boards are construction materials with excellent thermal insulation and fire-proof capabilities. The method of growing seaweed by using such boards has been used to revive seaweed beds in Minamata Bay in Minamata, Kumamoto Prefecture, which was severely damaged by polluted water that caused Minamata disease.
 To launch the project, Nikka Board received technical training from the Minamata fishery association and other relevant organizations. The company also obtained cooperation from the Shimokajiro abalone fishery association in Iwaki and the Fukushima prefectural fishery experimental station.

 断熱性、防火性に優れた建築資材の木毛セメント板で海藻を育てる方法は、水俣病発生に伴う廃水汚染が原因で壊滅的な打撃を受けた水俣湾(熊本県水俣市)の藻場再生を実現させた技術。実証試験に際し、水俣漁協など同県関係機関から技術指導を受けたほか、いわき市の下神白(しもかじろ)採鮑(さいほう)組合や県水産試験場の協力を取り付けた。

 "Unless something is done, things won't return to their original state," said Nikka Board President Hidenobu Asada while looking at boards being installed at Onahama fishing port. The project involves huge risks, as it generates costs and the experiment will take several years. However, Asada, 66, firmly said, "This project will lead to reconstruction of the entire Tohoku region."

 「何かをやらなければ、元には戻らない」。小名浜漁港で設置作業を見守りながら、朝田社長は今回の事業に懸けた思いを話した。事業コストの問題や実証試験自体に数年かかることなど、会社としてのリスクは大きいが、「東北全体の復興につながる事業になる」と迷いはない。

 For Asada, reconstruction means the revival of local fishery and forestry industries. Reviving seaweed beds will be a step forward for restoring marine resources for coastal fishery in the Tohoku region, which has been suffering from "coralline flat," a phenomenon in which seaweed decreases, because seaweed reefs were washed away by the tsunami.
 If the boards are recognized as a material for seaweed reefs, this is also expected to boost demand for wood produced in the prefecture, which has been affected by the nuclear accident.

 朝田社長が話した「復興」とは、漁業や林業を指す。津波で多くの藻礁が流失し、海藻が減少する「磯焼け」に苦悩する東北地方の沿岸漁業にとって、藻場の再生は水産資源回復の一助になる。藻礁の素材として木毛セメント板が認められれば、原発事故の影響を受ける県産木材の需要拡大にもつながる。

 "It's an excellent project in terms of technology and continuity. I hope it will lead to an expansion in seaweed beds and a boost in the demand for wood," said Michihiro Otsubo, a 55-year-old staff member responsible for promoting open innovation projects at the Kumamoto Institute of Invention and Innovation in Kumamoto Prefecture, which is supporting the technological transfer.

( Translated by The Japan News )


 技術移転を支援する熊本県発明協会オープンイノベーション推進員の大坪路弘さん(55)は「技術や継続性が優れた事業で藻場拡大や木材の需要拡大につながってほしい」とエールを送る。

 Seaweed reef
 An artificial board installed on the seabed to breed seaweed. In an experiment led by the Kumamoto prefectural government, wooden fiber cement boards were proved superior to concrete boards in nurturing seaweed. Sound growth of seaweed leads to the restoration of seaweed beds, which are essential for the formation of a rich fishery environment to see spawning and the growth of fry.

 藻礁(もしょう)
 海藻類を繁殖させるために海底に設置する人工基盤で、熊本県などの実証試験では木毛セメント製はコンクリート製よりも海藻などの成長を促すことが立証された。海藻が順調に生育することで、魚介類が産卵し、稚魚が成育する豊かな漁業環境に欠かせない藻場が復元される。

【 2015年12月16日・本紙掲載 】