Nakatane Town Beach Pollution

Note: The information on this page was translated from English to Japanese using Google Translate.
注: このページの情報は、Google 翻訳を使用して英語から日本語に翻訳されています。

For three years we lived in the Nishino District of Minamitane Town on Tanegashima Island. After a few months in America we returned to the island and purchased a property in the Noma District of Nakatane Town. We were amazed at the amount of trash littered all over the beaches. The beaches in this town are made up sand, or rocks and boulders, or a combination of both. The rock and boulder beaches are loaded with trash, much of which gets wedged between the crevices. For these beaches, trash removal is problematic partially due to difficult access. I suppose this could almost be used as an excuse for not doing trash removal. The trash on the sand beaches, on the other hand, is easily removed by hand or with heavy machinery like backhoes, or tractors with huge rakes.

Nagahama Beach

Nagahama Beach is located on the west side of the island in Nakatane Town. Nagahama Beach means "long beach" in Japanese, and as the name implies, this beach is probably the longest on the entire island. This beach also has the unfortunate designation of being one of the most polluted beaches on the island.

長浜海水浴場は中種子町の島の西側にあります。長浜海水浴場は日本語で「長い砂浜」を意味し、その名が示すとおり、このビーチはおそらく島全体で最も長いビーチです。このビーチは、残念なことに、島で最も汚染されたビーチの 1 つとして指定されています。

These is trash everywhere including, but not limited to: plastic bags, balloons, buoys, rope, medical waste, glass and plastic bottles, cigarette stubs, cigarette lighters, beverage cans, polystyrene, lost fishing line and nets, and various wastes from ships are among the items commonly found to have washed ashore. The situation is the same on the other side of the island as well.


Nakatane Town has no problem investing money in facilities to be used in connection with the Japanese and American militaries but seems to have no interest in looking after their beaches. We listened to stories of surfers who picked up trash at some of the Nakatane beaches and dumped the trash at the entrance of the town administration building.


During the last few years, my family has been picking up trash on two of our local beaches, Takeyano and Kumano Yoko. Because we use these beaches often, we feel it is our duty to keep these beaches trash free.

ここ数年、私の家族は地元の 2 つの海岸、竹谷野海岸と熊野横浜でゴミ拾いをしています。私たちはこれらのビーチを頻繁に利用するため、これらのビーチをゴミのない状態に保つことが私たちの義務であると感じています。
Beach Trash Explained

Beach trash, also known as marine debris, or marine litter, is human-created solid material that has deliberately or accidentally been released in a sea or ocean. Floating oceanic debris tends to accumulate at the center of gyres and on coastlines, frequently washing aground, when it is known as beach litter. Deliberate disposal of wastes at sea is called ocean dumping. Naturally occurring debris, such as driftwood and drift seeds, are also present. With the increasing use of plastic, human influence has become an issue as many types of (petrochemical) plastics do not biodegrade quickly, as would natural or organic materials. The largest single type of plastic pollution (~10%) and the majority of large plastic in the oceans is discarded and lost nets from the fishing industry. Waterborne plastic poses a serious threat to fish, seabirds, marine reptiles, and marine mammals, as well as to boats and coasts.

海洋ゴミまたは海洋ゴミとしても知られるビーチゴミは、意図的または偶然に海または海に放出された、人間が作り出した固形物質です。浮遊海洋ゴミは環流の中心や海岸線に蓄積する傾向があり、頻繁に座礁し、海岸ゴミとして知られています。廃棄物を意図的に海洋に投棄することを海洋投棄といいます。流木や漂流種子などの自然由来のゴミも存在します。多くの種類の(石油化学)プラスチックは、天然素材や有機素材とは異なり、すぐには生分解されないため、プラスチックの使用が増加するにつれて、人間の影響が問題になっています。単一の種類のプラスチック汚染の中で最大のもの(約 10%)があり、海洋の大型プラスチックの大部分は、漁業から廃棄されたり網が失われたりしています。水系プラスチックは、ボートや海岸だけでなく、魚、海鳥、海洋爬虫類、海洋哺乳類にも深刻な脅威をもたらします。

Dumping, container spillages, litter washed into storm drains and waterways and wind-blown landfill waste all contribute to this problem. This increased water pollution has caused serious negative effects such as discarded fishing nets capturing animals, concentration of plastic debris in massive marine garbage patches, and increasing concentrations of contaminants in the food chain.

Beach Trash Types

Researchers classify debris as either land- or ocean-based; in 1991, the United Nations Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution estimated that up to 80% of the pollution was land-based, with the remaining 20% originating from catastrophic events or maritime sources.

研究者はデブリを陸上のものと海洋のものに分類しています。 1991年、海洋汚染の科学的側面に関する国連専門家合同グループは、汚染の最大80%が陸上由来で、残りの20%は壊滅的な出来事または海洋発生源に由来すると推定した。

A wide variety of man-made objects can become marine debris; plastic bags, balloons, buoys, rope, medical waste, glass and plastic bottles, cigarette stubs, cigarette lighters, beverage cans, polystyrene, lost fishing line and nets, and various wastes from cruise ships and oil rigs are among the items commonly found to have washed ashore. Six-pack rings, in particular, are considered emblematic of the problem.

Ghost nets

Ghost nets are fishing nets that have been abandoned, lost, or otherwise discarded in the ocean. These nets, often nearly invisible in the dim light, can be left tangled on a rocky reef or drifting in the open sea. They can entangle fish, dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, dugongs, crocodiles, seabirds, crabs, and other creatures, including the occasional human diver. Acting as designed, the nets restrict movement, causing starvation, laceration and infection, and suffocation in those that need to return to the surface to breathe. It's estimated that around 48,000 tons of ghost nets are generated each year, and these may linger in the oceans for a considerable time before breaking-up.

ゴーストネットは、海に放棄、紛失、または廃棄された漁網です。これらの網は、薄明かりの中でほとんど見えないことが多く、岩礁に絡まったままになったり、外海に漂流したりすることがあります。魚、イルカ、ウミガメ、サメ、ジュゴン、ワニ、海鳥、カニ、その他の生き物、時には人間のダイバーも絡むことがあります。設計どおりに機能すると、ネットは動きを制限し、呼吸のために水面に戻る必要がある人に飢え、裂傷、感染、窒息を引き起こします。毎年約 48,000 トンのゴーストネットが発生すると推定されており、これらは分解されるまでかなりの期間海中に残る可能性があります。
Military Trash

The US military used ocean dumping for unused weapons and bombs, including ordinary bombs, UXO, landmines and chemical weapons from at least 1919 until 1970. Millions of pounds of ordnance were disposed of in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of at least 16 states, from New Jersey to Hawaii (although these, of course, do not wash up onshore, and the US is not the only country who has practiced this).

Plastic Trash

Eighty percent of marine debris is plastic. Plastics accumulate because they typically do not biodegrade as many other substances do. They photodegrade on exposure to sunlight, although they do so only under dry conditions, as water inhibits photolysis. In a 2014 study using computer models, scientists from the group 5 Gyres, estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic weighing 269,000 tons were dispersed in oceans in similar amount in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.

Beach Trash Impacts

Many animals that live on or in the sea consume trash by mistake (see picture), as it often looks similar to their natural prey. Overall, 1288 marine species are known to ingest plastic debris, with fish making up the largest fraction. Bulky plastic debris may become permanently lodged in the digestive tracts of these animals, blocking the passage of food and causing death through starvation or infection. Tiny floating plastic particles also resemble zooplankton, which can lead filter feeders to consume them and cause them to enter the ocean food chain. In addition, plastic in the marine environment that contaminates the food chain can have repercussions on the viability of fish and shellfish species.

海の上や海に生息する多くの動物は、ゴミが自然の獲物に似ていることが多いため、誤ってゴミを食べてしまいます(写真を参照)。全体として、1,288 の海洋生物種がプラスチックの破片を摂取することが知られており、魚が最も大きな割合を占めています。かさばるプラスチックの破片がこれらの動物の消化管に永久に詰まり、食物の通過を妨げ、飢餓や感染症によって死亡する可能性があります。浮遊する小さなプラスチック粒子も動物プランクトンに似ており、濾過摂食者がそれらを消費し、海の食物連鎖に入る原因となる可能性があります。さらに、食物連鎖を汚染する海洋環境のプラスチックは、魚介類の生存能力に影響を与える可能性があります。
Beach Trash Decomposition

There are two causes of the degradation of marine ecology and marine debris: the direct forces (population growth, technological development, and economic growth) and proximity forces (land transformation and industrial processes). We can think of the direct forces as underlying causes of why we consume an excessive amount of goods by industry process. The excessive consumption of goods causes marine debris because the goods have been packaged by manufactured cheap non-recycle materials such as plastic. Solid waste plastics cannot decompose easily in nature and their decomposition process takes thousands of years to millions of years but plastic breaks down into continuously smaller pieces (>5 mm) forming what is called micro-plastics. Thus, such solid waste products are called marine debris that can be seen all through coastlines and on many beaches through the world. There can be many sources of marine debris such as land-based, marine-based, and other anthropocentric activities.

海洋生態系と海洋ゴミの劣化には、直接的な影響 (人口増加、技術開発、経済成長) と近接的な影響 (土地の変化や産業プロセス) の 2 つの原因があります。私たちが産業プロセスごとに過剰な量の商品を消費する根本的な原因として直接的な要因があると考えることができます。商品はプラスチックなどの安価な非リサイクル材料で梱包されているため、商品の過剰消費は海洋ゴミの原因となります。固体の廃プラスチックは自然界では容易に分解できず、その分解プロセスには数千年から数百万年かかりますが、プラスチックは継続的に小さな破片(>5 mm)に分解され、いわゆるマイクロプラスチックを形成します。したがって、そのような固形廃棄物は海洋ゴミと呼ばれ、世界中の海岸線や多くのビーチで見られます。海洋ゴミの発生源は、陸上、海洋、その他の人類中心の活動など、数多く存在する可能性があります。
What We Want

We are now requesting Nakatane Town take more of an interest in their beaches and open space areas by removing trash on a periodic basis.

Additional Reading