The staff and volunteers at the International Marine Mammal Project of Earth Island Institute were saddened to learn of the passing of one of Japan’s foremost environmental advocates, Dr. Eiji Fujiwara, President of the Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan.
The dolphins and whales of Japan have lost a real friend and wildlife conservation advocate as have other wild animals throughout Japan.
Dolphins are at the top of the marine food chain, and as such are extremely important in maintaining healthy marine ecosystems, something that Dr. Fujiwara strongly recognized. His support for the dolphins has had global impacts, in such international forums as the International Whaling Commission and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. We have often featured Elsa Nature Conservancy of Japan information on our Website in the United States, which gets global attention.
Wild dolphins and whales, as Dr. Fujiwara well understood, are also very valuable as a part of Japan’s coastal eco-tourism industry, attracting a growing number of tourists in many parts of Japan that recognize the value of keeping these magnificent animals alive and free.
We salute Dr. Eiji Fujiwara’s legacy and look forward to working with the many Japanese people who supported and encouraged Dr. Fujiwara’s leadership in protecting the marine environment of Japan for all Japanese and the world.
We also convey our condolences to Dr. Fujiwara’s wife and our colleague, Ms. Sakae Hemmi, who has also contributed enormously to Japanese understanding of and protection for dolphins and whales.