Marine Pollution

Basic Approach

Environmental pollution caused by marine plastic spills is an issue of global importance, and the Maruha Nichiro Group, which is deeply involved in the ocean, sees it as an equally important issue.
We will promote our response to the marine plastic issue in cooperation with industry associations, related NGOs, and others to make our activities more effective.

Medium-term Sustainability Management Plan (FY2018-2021)

Coexist with Regional Communities in Mutual Prosperity

Target FY2021 Medium-term Management Plan Self-Assessment
Action Plan (Key measures) Achievements
Convey the importance of food and contribute to the well-being of everyone
  • Continue organizing the chef-directed parent-child cooking classes
  • Continue holding cooking classes using MSC/ASC certified seafood products
  • Held chef-directed parent-child cooking classes in Chiba and Osaka
  • Recorded "Fish Kitchen," cooking class for parents and children, in cooperation with a cable TV production company; broadcast in Koto-ku for two weeks; also broadcast on cable TV nationwide
  • Conducted "For the Ocean, for Life: Delicious Fish Cooking for Parents and Children" twice in total at Tokyo Gas and Toho Gas


  • Held chef-directed parent-child cooking classes and cooking classes using MSC/ASC certified seafood products
  • Coastal Cleanup Activities, organized “Make Sea Happy!” at multiple business sites in Japan
  • Conducted eelgrass bed restoration activities (collecting flowering branches and sowing seeds)
  • Donated food to healthcare workers /NPOs /food banks
Protected the natural environment for the future
  • Continued cleanup activities in the vicinity of business sites
  • Continued eelgrass bed restoration activities
  • Coastal Cleanup Activities From FY2021, we organized “Make Sea Happy!” at multiple business sites in Japan
  • Conducted eelgrass bed restoration activities (collecting flowering branches and sowing seeds)
Contributed to the growth of regional communities
  • Continued these events while considering the impact of COVID-19
  • Continued to conduct online classes for junior and senior high school students
  • Participated in Toyosu Festa (make your own souvenir canned items)
  • Provided online classes and supported junior and senior high school students visiting companies
  • Donated to healthcare workers /NPOs /food banks

Main Activities in FY2021

Organized Cleanup Activity “Make Sea Happy!” to Combat Problems of Marine Plastics

The Maruha Nichiro Group has for some time conducted cleanup activities at its locations throughout Japan.
In recent years, the issue of marine plastic has become a major environmental concern, and in order to make our activities more effective, we are conducting cleanup activities since FY2019 under the new name of “Make Sea Happy!”

Scene of activities at Southern Beach Chigasaki (Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture)
Scenes of activities using vessels (Kushimoto, Wakayama Prefecture)

Characteristics of “Make Sea Happy!”

“Make Sea Happy!" is defined as a "cleanup activity to address the problem of marine plastics" and its main feature is that the trash picked up is not thrown away as is, but instead is aggregated and recorded. We provide waste information to an environmental organization (The Japan Environment Action Network (JEAN)*) in cooperation with its survey. Participants will be asked to collect trash and roughly categorize it (burnable/cans/bottles/pets/plastics/etc.). After roughly classifying the waste, the classification and aggregation of the waste for survey data submission is very time-consuming because of the manual classification of fine hard plastic fragments, vinyl fragments, and other small details. Conversely, we received comments from participants such as, "It was the first time I had ever held marine waste in my hands and looked at it so closely," "When I looked carefully, I realized that a lot of fine plastic waste had fallen out," and “I could feel the increase in plastic waste,” and we recognized that this is a very meaningful process in terms of "confronting the marine plastic issue.”

Scene of the waste aggregation

Activities throughout Japan

In order to expand the activities from FY2021, we clarified the procedures and called for the participation of regional branches, plants, Group Companies, etc. This resulted in seven activities held that year, with 141 participants and approximately 3,274 kg of waste collected.

Hiroshima Plant, Maruha Nichiro Corporation
Yayoi Sunfoods Co., Ltd. Shimizu Plant
Toyosu Head Office of Maruha Nichiro (Summer)
Tohoku Regional Branch of Maruha Nichiro Corporation Tohoku Regional Branch of Yayoi Sunfoods Co., Ltd.
Toyosu Head Office of Maruha Nichiro (winter)
Maruha Nichiro Marine Kumano Office

Waste Aggregation Data to Date

Date Organizer Location Number of participants Weight of waste (kg) Hard plastic fragments (number of pieces) Plastic bag fragments (number of pieces) Styrofoam fragments (number of pieces)
October 5, 2019 Toyosu Head Office of Maruha Nichiro Kasai Kaihin Park (Edogawa-ku, Tokyo) 60 37.2 418 577 102
October 31, 2020 Toyosu Head Office of Maruha Nichiro Kasai Kaihin Park (Edogawa-ku, Tokyo) 17 9.8 22 240 32
October 2, 2021 Toyosu Head Office of Maruha Nichiro Kasai Kaihin Park (Edogawa-ku, Tokyo) 16 4 341 206 41
October 2, 2021 Maruha Nichiro Hiroshima Plant Kannon Marina Seaside Park (Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Prefecture) 22 9.6 58 151 143
October 16, 2021 Yayoi Sunfoods Shimizu Plant Miho Masaki Beach ( Shizuoka City) 18 10.1 674 263 804
November 25, 2021 Toyosu Head Office of Maruha Nichiro Toyosu Gururi Park (Koto-ku, Tokyo) 5 0.2 2 7 0
November 27, 2021 Maruha Nichiro Tohoku Regional Branch
Yayoi Sunfoods Tohoku Regional Branch
Fukanuma Beach (Sendai City, Miyagi Prefecture) 18 22.2 884 47 42
January 15, 2022 Toyosu Head Office of Maruha Nichiro Southern Beach Chigasaki (Chigasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture) 37 28 2,070 669 23
March 8, 2022 Maruha Nichiro Marine Kushimoto office JF Wakayama East premises (Higashimuro-gun, Wakayama Prefecture) 25 3,200* 0 0 0
Total 218 3,321.1 4,469 2,160 1,187

*Achievements from ocean floor cleanup

Hard plastic fragments
Collected 4,469 in total
Vinyl fragments
Collected 2,160 in total

Results of the past three years

  • Number of participants: 218 People
  • Weight collected: 3,321kg

The data collected during the period of the International Coastal Cleanup was provided to the Ocean Conservancy, an NGO, through JEAN, and was utilized as waste survey data along with data from cleanup activities being conducted in other parts of the world.


Ms. Azusa Kojima

Secretary General
The Japan Environment Action Network (JEAN)

In addition to picking up waste, we conduct waste surveys as part of the "Research Cleanup" using the International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) data cards, and accumulating data on waste at beaches in Japan as a resource for reducing waste from the source. In addition, we focus on educational activities to inform people about the current situation of marine waste and the challenges it poses, and to promote awareness of the fact that everyone is one of the parties involved.

We are connected to the ocean through food, but there are not many opportunities to be conscious of the marine environment and waste.
I am very encouraged and pleased that Maruha Nichiro, which is engaged in businesses related to seafood and food, is participating in this activity.
I look forward to continued participation from our sites in various locations, and together we will continue to reflect on marine waste and search for ways to resolve it.

Conducted Clean-up Activities at Nippon Surfing Association (NSA) Competitions

“Make Sea Happy!” clean-up activities were conducted at the venue of the 30th Junior Open Surfing Championships of the Nippon Surfing Association (NSA) held in Chiba Prefecture in April 2022, and at the venue of the NSA's 56th All Japan Surfing Championships held in Miyazaki Prefecture in August 2022.

A total of approximately 250 people, mostly athletes who participated in the tournament and their associates, participated in the activities.

Strengthening of Buoy Strength for Use in Sea Aquaculture

In recent years, there has been increasing pollution of the oceans by plastics, and measures are needed to address plastic spills caused by fishing gear and aquaculture equipment. For example, most of the buoys used in Japan's marine aquaculture industry are Styrofoam (plastic), but considering Styrofoam's poor resistance in the natural environment, there is a risk of plastic leaking into the ocean due to degradation over time.

At Taiyo A&F Co., Ltd., they began switching to buoys made of HDPE (high-density polyethylene), a stronger material, in order to reduce such risks. They are already being introduced at all five locations (Okinawa, Kashiwa Island in Kochi, Goto in Nagasaki, Yuya in Yamaguchi, and Naru in Nagasaki), and the number of fish tanks to be introduced will be increased in the future.

KGIs and KPIs from FY2022 - FY2030

In line with formulating the new Medium-term Management Strategy "For the Ocean, for Life MNV 2024,” we reevaluated new nine key issues (materiality) on March 28, 2022 and formulated the Ideal State in 2030 (KGI) for each materiality and Achievement Targets (KPI).

Starting in FY2022, we will work on the targets we have formulated, aiming to achieve our Ideal State in 2030.


Address the problem of marine plastics

Ideal State in 2030 (KGI)

We practice zero discharge of plastics into the ocean along our supply chain, including from our own Company

Achievement Targets (KPI)
GRI Standards Target value Target year
Formulation and operational rate of fishing gear guidelines (Overall G) 100% 2024
Rate of employee participation in a beach cleanup (Domestic G) 30% or more 2030
Main SDGs to which we contribute