Habitat observation meeting held as large number of ‘marimo’ are washed ashore in Churui Bay

A ‘marimo’ algae ball habitat observation meeting was held on June 22 by the specified non-profit organization Lake Akan Marino Conservation Society and Kushiro City Marimo Research Laboratory, after a large number of marimo were washed ashore in Churui Bay, in the northern part of Lake Akan. At the meeting, ten 4th-grade pupils from the Akanko Compulsory Education (joint elementary/junior high) School learned about the importance of the habitat and conservation of ‘Marimo of Lake Akan,’ which is a special natural monument of Japan.

The observation meeting has been held every year since 1994. Churui Bay is an Akan-Mashu National Park Special Protection Zone, and normally cannot be entered without permission. A large number of marimo were washed ashore for the first time in eight years during strong winds that occurred on June 4, and many could be seen on the sandy lake shore. “After falling apart, the pieces of marimo are washed back into the lake by the wind and waves. Being washed ashore is not damaging but an important part of the process of increasing the numbers,” explained Oyama Yoichi, curator of the Marimo Research Laboratory.

At Churui Bay, participants could see the cavities in large marimo of up to 20 cm in diameter, and touch the marimo made up of branched threads. “I was surprised to see so many marimo washed ashore. They were so soft when I touched them,” said one pupil.


Marimo Exhibition and Observation Center