Japan has set a historic example in its efforts to conserve coastal ecosystems, crucial for its fisheries. With over 30,000 kilometers of coastline and a significant portion of its land covered in trees, Japan has long recognized the importance of protecting onshore watersheds to preserve water quality in its bays and estuaries.
The government designates certain woodlands as “protection forests,” including “fish forests” that highlight the relationship between forests and coastal seas. Japan’s commercial fishers have played a leading role by planting trees in coastal watersheds, based on their belief in the connection between healthy forests and healthy seas. New research confirms this link, paving the way for global environmental conservation efforts amidst the deepening crisis.