March 2024 OES Beacon

Chapter News (March 2024)

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Opening address by Katsuyoshi Kawaguchi, General Chair of the workshop

Japan Chapter 

The 6th Workshop on Scientific Use of Submarine Cables & Related Technology Hybrid

Reported by Harumi Sugimatsu

We had the sixth domestic workshop on SSC (Scientific Use of Submarine Cables & Related Technology) in a hybrid style on the 8th  of December, 2023, at the convention hall of the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo (  The workshop has been held annually since 2018.  This time, the workshop featured one keynote lecture on the future of seafloor observation research, and seven lectures on various topics including applications of optical cable sensing technology, scientific results obtained from data acquired through real-time seafloor observation in long-term, and its social implementation. The 162 participants (70 on-site and 92 online) had lively discussions.

In the keynote speech on “The Future of Seafloor Observation Research,” Professor Yoshiyuki Kaneda of Kagawa University spork about the importance of not only monitoring research using seafloor observation networks consisting of optical cables and various observation sensors, but also comprehensive monitoring through AUVs and underwater drones, as well as seafloor crustal monitoring including a long-term borehole monitoring system.  The following seven lectures introduced the development of a long-term borehole monitoring system and its operational cases, and applications of optical cable sensing in science such as seismic observation.

After the workshop, a reception for the speakers and audience was held. Many participants expressed that they look forward to the next workshop. If you are interested, please join us at the next workshop to talk about the seafloor observation network system in your region.  For more info, please contact to us (

Keynote talk by Yoshiyuki Kaneda
Q and A
From various lectures
From various lectures


UKRI Chapter 

42% Increase in UKRI Members in 2 Years

Reported by Brian Horsburgh, Secretary of UKRI Chapter

We are delighted to report a marked increase in UKRI (United Kingdon and Republic of Ireland) Chapter members, following completion of a recent review. The biggest contribution has come following the OCEANS Limerick conference in June, 2023, with 8 additional members in the Limerick area, mainly graduate student members. The Chapter now has 19 members in Ireland, contributing to the UKRI total of 68 currently.

Whilst membership is spread around the countries of UK and Ireland, there are concentrations in Limerick and Aberdeen. This reinforces the benefits of holding the OCEANS conference with subsequent membership growth.

Chapter Chair, Professor Prabhu Radhakrishna said “I am delighted to see this growth in the UKRI Chapter following the Limerick OCEANS conference, and with our expanded chapter activity programme. A preliminary bid has been tabled to bring the OCEANS conference back to Aberdeen in 2027, which we look forward to progressing.”

Hong Kong Chapter 

HK CTOES Joint Chapter makes a United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Commitment under SDGs 1, 2 & 14

Reported by Paul Hodgson, Hong Kong Chapter Chair

There is a saying: “Actions speak louder than words.”  When it comes to the mitigation of human impact on this planet there are a lot of words and there seems to be little action.  The OES has embraced the United Nations Decade of the Oceans and for us, the OES, we have known the importance of the oceans since we figured out the interconnection between the weather systems of Earth and the oceans in the 1960’s.

Every once in a while, an opportunity comes along that has the potential to really make a difference in setting an example and setting a precedent for others to follow.  People talk a lot about the environment, protecting and preserving it. But really, the success and future sustainable existence of the human species, on the Earth, depends more on sustainability, and integration with, rather than the protection and preservation.  If you think about it, the environment would probably do a lot better without us.

The HKIEEE CTOES Joint Chapter had the opportunity to join with a HK NGO, Reef Defenders to realize a sustainability project that fits very well into the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 1, 2 and 14.  The project took the form of a joint commitment to the ESCAP under UN Agenda 30.  The commitment was to repurpose 10 numbers of confiscated illegal fishing boats as human made reef (HMR) in Sabah, Malaysia.  This work is carried out with the cooperation of the Sabah Fisheries Department of the government there.

The concept is simple.  Once illegal fishing boats are caught working in Sabah Territorial Waters, and the legal formalities were complete, they would be prepared for sinking as HMRs at suitable locations.  Before this, it was normal practice to just let the boats rot and sink at an impounding anchorage.  This past practice pollutes the local environment with leaking oil and is a source of marine debris that need to eventually be dealt with.

This project allows for 10 confiscated boats to be processed in a completely different way.  First, the engines need to be removed and sold to cover some of the enforcement costs.  Kitchen equipment and useful fishing gear (except nets) are given to the community that reported the illegal boat.  This offers an incentive for them to report more illegal activity.  Then the whole inner hull is washed and degreased using environmentally friendly bio-degradable solutions.  Any safety floatation material is removed and the boat is modified for safe diving and to provide extra habitat for reef fish.  A suitable marine area is determined and government permission applied for the installation of the HMR.  The boat is then towed out to the location and sunk. This project is an extension of the work Reef Defenders has been doing in the past with the repurposing of two illegal boats in 2023.

It is a great solution to the previously unsolved issue of what to do with confiscated illegal fishing boats. Viable HMRs can be installed in designated areas as fish habitat to improve fish populations and, in addition, the option to set these spots as sustainable areas or marine protected no take areas are possibilities. The HMRs can also provide another option to bring divers away from corals to a new attraction instead, offering a different challenge to consumers and decreasing the risks towards coral damage. The spin off for the local communities is to provide tourist fishing in take areas and allow villagers to act as dive leaders for tourist divers wanting to visit the wrecks.  So basically, a big “win” all round.

The commitment from the CTOES is to help RD raise HK$350K for the project.  So far, the efforts of the CTOES and the RD have raised the money needed for the sinking of one boat with more funds committed.  For more information on this project, please visit our web site:  One of the past sponsors has produced a video:

If anyone is interested to contribute to this wonderful project, you can purchase HKD5,000 shares in each boat sinking.  One boat sinking needs 6 shares.

The first HMR (RHS) that went down
…………………and now
The second HMR that went down
…………………and now