Since 2015 MHI Group has provided support to the "Tanegashima Loggerhead Sea Turtle Survey" program sponsored by the authorized NPO EarthWatch Japan. The program is targeted at protecting loggerhead sea turtles, currently under threat of extinction, and creating a healthy environment for spawning by clarifying adult females' homing rate back to earlier spawning sites on Tanegashima, their physical makeup, and spawning success rates.
This year's survey, the fifth to date, was conducted four times between late June and early July. Each survey was performed by 12 participants: 6 employee volunteers and 6 volunteers from the general public, making for a total of 48 altogether. Because the surveys of adult females spawning on the beach must be carried out at night, in the dark, prior to participating in an actual survey the volunteers were given instruction by an academic expert and members of Turtle Crew, a local NPO. The survey began around 9 p.m., and whenever a turtle was spotted, the volunteers waited until its spawning was completed and then, exercising great care, they attached an identification tag and measured its shell. This procedure was carried out repeatedly until around 3 a.m.
This year, the surveys took place four times, each involving two nights. A total of 35 adult females were surveyed, including 24 confirmed as having laid eggs. Of the 35, three were wearing identification tags from previous years.
In this way, this program launched five years ago is providing significant information concerning the ecology of loggerhead sea turtles: their return rates, return cycles, etc. This new data is expected to contribute to protection of the species.
Going forward, in accordance with our CSR Action Guidelines, MHI Group will continue to take a variety of initiatives to protect the environment and biodiversity.