The 52nd Gifu University Forum: "Environmental University Forum"

Gifu University hosted the 52nd University Forum, "Environmental University Forum" at the General Education Building on campus on November 14, 2018. The university designates the month of November as an environment month since its declaration of environmental university in 2009. The environmental forum has been conducted annually since the declaration. Mr. Tetsuji Yamashita, the Board of Ceremonies of the Imperial Household Agency was invited to speak for the forum. A total of 92 people (71 staff, 10 students, and 11 local residents) attended the forum.

At the outset, Mr. Seiki Ofuji, Executive Director for Academic Research and Information gave an opening speech, and it was followed by the introduction of Mr. Yamashita by Professor Osamu Doi from the Faculty of Applied Biological Sciences.

Mr. Yamashita gave a speech titled, "Cormorant fishing on the Nagara River." He spoke about the reasons why the fishing has been long preserved and well-protected for more than 1,300 years. The factors behind, he said, are, "rich fishing grounds and strong backing from the people in power." He also explained individual roles of the special outfits worn by a cormorant master, and demonstrated how to put on a special hat. Later, he showed how a cormorant bird swallows fish to the audience.

Mr. Yamashita and a bird

It is hard to distinguish between male and female cormorants, but they are usually brought up in pairs. Mr. Yamashita said that it takes almost three years before a bird learns to catch fish and how hard it is to domesticate cormorants. Lastly, he reiterated the significance of a team work between humans and birds for fishing.

"It was a great opportunity for me to listen to the story from a cormorant master firsthand." "Mr. Yamashita's story was quite intriguing," "I saw the bird up close for the first time. Quite impressive." These are the comments by the participants.

Gifu University will continue to promote environment conservation activities through its diverse and multifaceted approaches.


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