The main theme of the conference focus on the issue of aquatic feeding products supply under varied anthropogenic pressures while degradation and loss of productivity are taking place for a large number of the most productive ecosystems located at the land-sea interface.
In France and within the European Union, such an issue might be tackled in the framework of the new Fisheries Common Policy (FCP) in coherence with the Integrated Maritime Policy environmental pillar which is the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) with the aim of getting the European marine eco-regions Good Environmental Status by 2020.
Biodiversity, exploited species, trophic networks, invasive species, sea-floor integrity, contaminants effect and their concentration in marine-originated food, are amongst the 11 descriptors of the Good Environmental Status (GES).
In Japan, as it is the case in France and Europe, the fisheries sector is declining but is still represented by 200 000 fishermen and farmers and therefore remains a major activity from the economic and social point of view. It is estimated that 95% of the 120 000 fishing and farming cooperatives and companies are coastal and still have a family structure.
In Japan like in Europe, the fisheries sector suffer from the declining of regional fishery resources. The once 11 million tons of sea products (1980) have felt down to 5.7 million tons in 2006 and 5.4 million tons in 2009 while the domestic consumption is still at 7.2 million tons. Like France and Europe, Japan has therefore a negative balance for sea products importing a large part of its consumption.
Since 2007, Japan has developed a fishery policy with the ain following objectives : stock restoration ; boosting the fisheries sector for making it sustainable ; strengthening sea products transformation, distribution and consumption ; new technologies development and application ; new catching techniques based on re-visited traditional ones.
Japan has a long and rich experience of its coastal zone integrated management including concepts such as ‘satoumi’ integrating the ecological, economic and social aspects towards the conservation and restoration of its maritime heritage.
Japan is under severe natural hazards: great earthquakes and tsunamis affect the ecosystems which led the researchers and decision-makers to developing advanced restoration techniques including among others artificial reefs, artificial upwelling, massive juveniles restocking or sea ranching.
Although in a very different context, the ecosystem approach in both countries is a multi-scale approach at local, regional and national level that may be usefully compared using respective case studies as it is proposed during the next French-Japanese Oceanography Conference in Boulogne Sur-Mer.