What is TEAMS?

Fresh seafoods such as rockfish, cod, squid----

The ocean in the Sanriku area of the Tohoku Region had rich fisheries that provided a habitat for a variety of seafoods on the dinner table. However, the 2011 off the Pacific coast of Tohoku Earthquake, which occurred on March 11, 2011, and subsequent massive tsunamis changed marine ecosystem significantly.

To contribute to the revitalization of fisheries in the Tohoku Region, the Tohoku Ecosystem-Associated Marine Sciences (TEAMS) research program was launched by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in January 2012.

Led by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), Tohoku University, and the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute of the University of Tokyo, TEAMS conducts research to elucidate the impacts of the earthquake and tsunamis on marine ecosystems in the Tohoku coastal regions and its offshore areas and to scientifically investigate the changing process.

We explain JAMSTEC’s activities and achievements in TEAMS.

Marine life off the Sanriku coastal areas

Pacific cod

Pacific cod (Gadus macrocephalus)

Gadus macrocephalus is a large fish which can grow up to 1 m in total length. It is found in the North Pacific Ocean from the coast to a depth of 800 m. It is less oily than other fish and is often eaten by saute and Nabe (cooking in a pot at the table).

Japanese Flying Squid

Japanese Flying Squid (Todarodes pacificus)

Todarodes pacificus grows up to 30 cm in body length, and can migrate long distances during its short life, typically only 1 year. It is found in the waters surrounding the Japanese Islands from the surface to a depth of up to 1000 m. It is one of the squids used in a variety of culinary dishes.

Alaska pollack

Alaska pollack (Theragra chalcogramma)

Theragra chalcogramma is a species closely-related to Pacific cod and can grow up to 60 cm in total length. Its meat is used in the production of kamaboko and its ovaries are used for cod roe or salted cod roe spiced with red pepper. It is found in the North Pacific Ocean at depths of up to 500 m.

Broadbanded thornyhead

Broadbanded thornyhead (Sebastolobus macrochir)

Sebastolobus macrochir is generally known as “Kinki” in Japanese. It has a bright-red body with a black blotch at the center of its dorsal fin. It grows to approximately 30 cm in body length and is found at depths between 200 and 1500 m. It is a prized fish with delicious white-meat and plenty of fat.

Slime flounder

Slime flounder (Microstomus achne)

Microstomus achne is a flatfish with a total length of up to 60 cm. The Japanese name for this fish, “Baba-garei,” reminds us of an old woman. It is a white-meat fish often eaten boiled with soy sauce and sugar or broiled with salt. It is found in the Sea of Japan and areas north of Suruga Bay at depths between 50 and 400 m. In the Tohoku region, it is also known as “Nameta-garei.”

Snow crab

Snow crab (Chionoecetes opilio)

Chionoecetes opilio has a dark brown shell with a rounded triangular shape and is a representative of the edible crabs. Male snow crabs can grow to a shell width of 15 cm and females up to 8 cm. The life expectancy of the crabs can be as long as 15 years.

Commercial whelk

Commercial whelk (Buccinum isaotakii)

Buccinum isaotakii is a type of snail, commonly called a whelk. It is eaten raw or boiled with soy sauce and sugar. It can grow up to approximately 20 cm in size (shell length) and is found in the Pacific coastal areas from Kashima-Nada to Hokkaido at depths between 50 and 500 m.

Go to page top