Makoto Kashiwai (Japan) – PICES 2006 Wooster Award

Makoto Kashiwai

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At the 2006 PICES Annual Meeting in Yokohama, Japan, it was announced that Dr. Makoto Kashiwai (Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan) was the recipient of the sixth annual Wooster Award.

The presentation ceremony took place on October 16, 2006, during the PICES-2006 Opening Session. The Science Board citation was presented by Dr. Kuh Kim, Science Board Chairman, and included in the 2006 Annual Report ( A commemorative plaque was given to Dr. Kashiwai by Dr. Vera Alexander, PICES Chairman, who also read the tribute sent by Dr. Wooster.

Science Board citation for the Wooster Award

Dr. Kashiwai has authored or co-authored more than 20 primary journal articles, book chapters or review papers covering several disciplines that include fine-scale coastal hydrodynamics, biological production and fish population dynamics, and climate-scale ocean variability. His early career was with the Faculty of Fisheries at Kyoto University, where his research used hydraulic model experiments and theory to study tidal exchange, residual circulation and tidal vortices in Kumihama Bay. While in Kyoto, he also investigated the formation of the anoxic layers of water in Kumihama Bay using field observations, and he contributed to the development of a continuous fish egg sampler, which was used in interdisciplinary studies of the microdistribution of fish eggs, larvae and plankton and its relation to ocean microstructure.

In 1986, Dr. Kashiwai moved to the Hokkaido National Fisheries Research Institute where he worked as the Head of the Physical Oceanography Section, and later as the Director of the Fisheries Oceanography Division until his retirement in 2001. During this period, he conducted a series of studies on the oceanographic structure and variability of the Oyashio region and its ecological influences. Among other observations obtained at this time, Dr. Kashiwai began routine physical and ecological observations of the Oyashio region along the "A-Line". This line is now an important time series, which continues today, and which has contributed greatly to the understanding of seasonal to decadal variability of the Oyashio Region. Dr. Kashiwai, with other colleagues, also initiated studies of the relationships between oceanographic variability and fish population dynamics of Japanese sardine and walleye pollock in the Oyashio. In 1989, he organized a special session at an international symposium on "The Okhotsk Sea and sea ice", where the results of the Oyashio project were presented. This symposium marked Makoto's first appearance on the international stage. At the symposium, he met Prof. Yutaka Nagata and Dr. Daniel Ware (both previous Wooster Award winners), and those meetings led him into ecosystem modeling in the Oyashio region and to PICES. Later, Makoto and his Japanese colleagues conducted comparative studies of the La Perouse, Oyashio and Labrador ecosystems under a Japan/Canada Science and Technology Exchange program with Canadian scientists from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. As part of this work, ecosystem models were developed to compare the impact of interannual and decadal ocean climate variations on lower trophic levels and fish population dynamics between western and eastern boundary current regions.

Dr. Kashiwai has been generous in serving the ocean science community at both the national and international levels. He served as a member on several committees of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Oceanography, and later as the Vice-President of that society. OK, but what has he done for PICES, you wonder. Well, his service to PICES has been also extensive and in many roles. He was a member of PICES Working Group 1 on the Okhotsk Sea and Oyashio Region. Japan offered to host the PICES Third Annual Meeting in Nemuro in 1994. Makoto was appointed the main local coordinator of the meeting. On October 5th, 10 days before the start of the Annual Meeting, an 8.1-magnitude earthquake occurred in the southern Kurils and northern Hokkaido. The arranged venue for the PICES meeting was severely damaged and unusable. Makoto took the lead in arranging alternate facilities and preparing everything from scratch for the meeting, which was finally held primarily in the Nemuro-city library. At the same meeting, Dr. Kashiwai convened a PICESGLOBEC workshop and was appointed the Co-Chairman of the PICES-GLOBEC initiative on Climate Change and Carrying Capacity (CCCC). He devoted significant time toward getting the CCCC Program up and running, establishing task teams, and contributing scientifically to the MODEL Task Team. At PICES IV in 1995, he succeeded his friend and colleague, Dr. Daniel Ware, as the Chairman of the Science Board of PICES. His term as the Science Board Chairman concluded in 1998, and that same year, the Japanese Government appointed him as national delegate to PICES. Thus, in a few short years, he had served as Co-Chairman of the first PICES scientific program, as Science Board Chairman, and as a national delegate on Governing Council. But, that apparently was not enough, for in 2000 he became again the Co-Chairman of the CCCC Program for another three years.

In his recent "retirement" years, Makoto has continued his study of the Oyashio ecosystem, he has coordinated a cooperative study of Nemuro-city and SakhNIRO, Russia, on the larval transport of the Hanasaki crab, and he has been an adjunct professor at the Tokyo University of Agriculture, where he continues to teach fisheries oceanography of the subarctic Pacific to undergraduate and graduate students.

In conclusion, Dr. Makoto Kashiwai is an active leader in fisheries oceanography, on theoretical and observational studies of the structure and variability of the Oyashio, and has contributed greatly to the goal of international cooperation and collaboration on North Pacific Ocean research in general, and through PICES specifically. He is eminently qualified and a worthy recipient of the Wooster Award of PICES, and we are pleased to honor him today with this award.

Dr. Wooster's tribute

It is an honor for me to participate in this award to Makoto Kashiwai, one of the early and most substantial contributors to the scientific programs of PICES. He first made his mark with development of the CCCC Program, Climate Change and Carrying Capacity. While the question was inspired by the threat of saturating the North Pacific with expatriate salmon, its broad scope became clear in Makoto's classic paper on the history of the carrying capacity concept. This demonstrated that carrying capacity was not just an arbitrary and ill-defined constant in a theoretical productivity equation, but was an index of ecosystem productivity and a variable function of environmental change. It made evident, to me at least, that the carrying capacity for a specific population, for example that of Steller sea lions, could change with the climate as did the availability of suitable food. The development of this program, to which Makoto has made major contributions, has been fundamental towards achieving the scientific goals of PICES.

Of course, as the Science Board makes clear in its citation, Makoto has been involved in most scientific activities of PICES, so perhaps that which I have emphasized is not the most significant. But it has certainly clarified the way I look at the effects of climate variations on marine ecosystems, so perhaps the education of this oceanographer at least is worth recognizing. In my view the case for presenting this award to Makoto Kashiwai is crystal clear.

Dr. Kashiwai's acceptance remarks

Thank you, Vera. Thank you, Dr. Kim. This is the greatest honour of my life.

When I heard from my old PICES friends that they were planning to nominate me as a candidate for the PICES Wooster Award of this year, I felt a strong hesitation, because I do not feel that I am a great professor or excellent scientist as the previous recipients. But they told me that the major reason for my nomination is that I am one of the first generation PICES scientists that is brought up by PICES and helped to shape the Organization today. I could not deny that and so I accepted the nomination, which will be a strong encouragement for present and future PICES scientists, especially from non-Englishspeaking countries. I can clearly remember the words of Dr. Warren Wooster, back in 1995, when I hesitated to accept the position of Science Board Chairman because of my insufficient English speaking ability. Warren said, "My expectation is not in your English speaking ability". I thought, at that time, that Warren might have found in me some possible capability to cope with the role of Science Board Chairman. Now I am sure that Warren meant nothing but my incapability in English itself. It was very important for PICES at that time, for any scientist from a non-Englishspeaking country to sit in a major driving seat of PICES, because, except for 2 member countries in North America, the rest of the 4 member countries on the western side of the Pacific are non-English-speaking countries.

My first project was to compose the Chairman's Handbook. The most important task for me was to incorporate the guideline "Use slow and clear English, not machine-gun talk", which was much help through my PICES days. This might be one of the expectations of Warren. This Handbook was not an instruction booklet made by the Secretariat, but a driving manual for new Chairmen of any subsidiary body of PICES, hoping that PICES can be an organization driven by scientists.

During my Science Board Chairmanship, both PICES and I benefited from the powerful participation of elder and younger colleagues, and it was a truly rich and enjoyable time. Thus, this award is a proof of the achievement by all the PICES scientists who shared my PICES days with me.

So, I would like to ask all of the PICES colleagues here to share this honour and happiness with me. Thank you.