Our lack of self-awareness is causing the loss of our marine ecosystems.


Based on the "Living Planet Report 2020," a study published by the World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), we have lost 68% of our planet's biodiversity over the last 50 years. Many researchers have also pointed out that the earth is on the verge of its sixth mass extinction event in history, and its cause can be exclusively attributed to human activities.
Our motherly oceans have been harmed by severe pollution from our expanding manufacturing and tourism industries. At the same time, the global overexploitation of fisheries resources, the climate crisis in recent decades, and the issue of marine plastic debris have combined to rapidly erode what was our ocean's vibrant ecosystem.
Despite the state of crisis we are in, many people are still unable to have an accurate idea of what the ocean has given us and what we have taken from it, and we have continued to unilaterally exploit the ocean's precious resources.


Photo Credit: MV Wakashio. | Greenpeace Africa

砂浜を背景にした「MOTHER OCEAN」のロゴタイプ

Reconsidering the ocean as our "mother."


A concept known as "ecosystem services" allows us to visualize the benefits provided to us by the ocean and our natural environment from various perspectives. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with researchers who have been working to expand this idea of ecosystem services through their research at the Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency (FRA), an organization that is intimately involved with Japan's marine ecosystems.
Dr. Aoi Sugimoto and her colleagues had been attempting to illuminate the value of the ocean as perceived by people by applying natural language processing techniques to the results of the extensive interviews they have conducted, rather than simply evaluating it on the basis of economic indicators such as fish catch and the number of tourists. The results suggest that people living in coastal areas tend to experience a variety of feelings for the ocean, including a sense of awe and love that resembles what we feel for other people.​​​​​​​



By approaching this study as an attempt to underscore the "maternal character of the ocean". we have proposed the launch of "MOTHER OCEAN" as a project whose goal is to "rethink the ocean as our mother". We also created a human-shaped infographic that evokes the image of a mother as a means to foster a shared appreciation of the ocean as our mother.

私たちはこの研究を、「海の母性」を証明する営みと読みかえ、「海を自分たちの母として捉え直す」プロジェクトとして「MOTHER OCEAN」の立ち上げを提案しました。そして、母をイメージさせる人型のインフォグラフィックなどを作成することで、「母」としての海という共通認識を育もうとしています。

「MOTHER OCEAN」プロジェクトの母をイメージさせる人体のインフォグラフィック
At the same time, we have received a request to prepare the guidelines for "International Coastal Cleanup", an event held annually in various countries around the world by "Ocean Conservancy", an American NGO involved in ocean conservation. This has also been included as part of the MOTHER OCEAN project. By raising awareness of the theme of "reconsidering the ocean as our mother", we have created many opportunities for researchers and activists whose work is related to the ocean to be part of the same network.

また、同時期に海の保全活動を行うアメリカのNGO団体「Ocean Conservancy」が毎年世界各地で開催している「International Coastal Cleanup」のガイドライン制作の依頼を受けたことから、これもMOTHER OCEANプロジェクトの一環に位置づけました。「海を母として捉え直す」というテーマを共有することで、海に関わる研究者から活動家までをつなぐ機会を創出しました。

ゴミの分別とその他注意が記載された「International Coastal Cleanup」のガイドライン
Download the English and Japanese versions of the Poster 英語と日本語版のポスターのダウンロードはこちら: shorturl.at/iDPS9

Sharing the notion of respecting our marine ecosystems like how we respect our neighbors with the rest of the world.


The ultimate goal of the activities we carry out under "MOTHER OCEAN" is to break away from an anthropocentric worldview and nurture a form of imagination capable of understanding the pain that the ocean is suffering in the same way we consider the feelings of our own mother. We believe that the current challenge for humanity is to recognize the ecosystem itself as an important maternal figure who blesses us with her gifts in the same way we had used to revere the innumerable deities that personified the sanctity of our universe in the past.
In addition to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations has proclaimed a "Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development" aimed at promoting a better appreciation and more effective conservation of oceans around the world. "MOTHER OCEAN" aims to become a movement that brings together researchers, social activists, and ordinary citizens around the world who are passionate about the ocean while keeping abreast of existing global trends and continuing to collaborate with various organizations. We hope to create a future where this notion of the ocean as our noble mother, an idea that mankind has almost forgotten, becomes widely appreciated by everyone once again.

「MOTHER OCEAN」の活動を通して私たちが目指すのは、人間中心主義から脱却し、本当の母親を慮るように海の痛みを理解する想像力を育むことです。私たちがかつて八百万の神として森羅万象を擬人化して敬ったように、いま人類に求められているチャレンジは、生態系そのものを大切な恵みの母として認識し直すことだと私たちは考えます。
持続可能な開発目標(SDGs)を掲げる国連では、海のより良い理解と保全を世界的に推進していくために「持続可能な開発のための海洋科学の10年」を提唱しています。「MOTHER OCEAN」では、こうした世界的な潮流とも足並みを合わせ、さまざまな団体と連携を図りながら、海に関わる世界中の研究者から社会活動家、一般市民までがつながる運動体として機能していくことを目指しています。人類が忘れかけている大いなる母としての海の存在が、人々の中で改めて常識となる状況をつくっていきたいと考えています。

​​​​​​​論文のリンクはこちら: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-021-00994-z

Ocean of Okinawa, Japan 沖縄の海


Social design by evolutional creativity
Art Direction
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa)
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa)
Graphic Design
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Noémie Kawakita, Nozomi Aoyama)
NOSIGNER (Eisuke Tachikawa, Noémie Kawakita, Nozomi Aoyama)

Ishigaki Island, Japan
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