The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science
Professor Toyoji KANEKO, President

Fisheries science covers a wide range of disciplines, including not only fisheries, aquaculture, and production and processing of marine foods, but also various other fields that involve humans and the aquatic environment, such as aquatic plants and animals, biological resources, oceans, the environment, energy, hydrosphere biochemistry, economics, and fisheries education. The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, a public interest incorporated association, aims to contribute to the development of science and the promotion of science and technology, as well as to the improvement of human welfare by promoting the progress and dissemination of research on fisheries science through the presentation and exchange, knowledge-sharing, and provision of information on fisheries science and its applications.

The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science was established on February 27, 1932, and approved as an incorporated association on April 1, 1970. In addition, we were certified as a public interest incorporated association on March 1, 2011. Currently, the total number of members (regular, honorary, group, supporting, foreign and student members) is about 3,300, and it is renowned as one of the leading societies in the field of fisheries in Japan and abroad. This year, 2020, marks the 88th anniversary of our founding.

This milestone year’s Spring Conference was cancelled due to the spread of the new coronavirus that has shaken the world. It has been nine years since the Great East Japan Earthquake. Amid this situation, I was appointed as President of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science, to serve as the representative director of this public interest incorporated association. It is indeed a departure in a storm. However, if both people and organizations are strengthened by overcoming hardships, this is an excellent opportunity for our society to make great progress.

Nine years have passed since the society was accredited as a public interest incorporated association. While such associations receive preferential tax treatment, they are subject to various regulations on their operation and the administrative burden related to accounting procedures and internal control is large. The new fiscal year of the society will begin on March 1, and the secretariat will continue to be very busy from the end of the fiscal year in February to the beginning of the new fiscal year in March. In particular, we are under pressure every year because we have little time to prepare for the general assembly. Although a majority of regular members are required to attend the general assembly, few actually do so. At present, the formation of the general assembly relies on the collection of proxies. It is hoped that this difficult situation will be remedied by the introduction of a delegate system, under which delegates will deliberate and decide on matters that were previously resolved at the general assembly. The delegate system is considered to be suitable for organizations such as our society that operate on a national scale, with several thousand members spread throughout the country. In addition to the transition to a delegate system, other possible solutions worth considering include holding the general assembly through a remote conference system and introducing an online resolution system. We would like to receive a wide range of opinions from our members in order to improve the management of our society.

The Japanese Society of Fisheries Science has an important mission as an academic organization representing the field of fisheries science, and its role will become even more important in the future. I will do my best as president for the next two years, and would greatly appreciate your cooperation.