- For the sustainable use of cetaceans as marine bioresources -

Understanding the physiology and ecology of whales and dolphins

~Study in Natural Oceans and aquariums~


The Cetacean Research Center is a new research organization established in December 2016 at the Graduate School of Bioresources, Mie University. Altogether there are approximately 90 types of whales and dolphins (cetaceans) throughout the world and of those, approximately 40 species visit or inhabit the waters surrounding Japan. Even the finless porpoise, measuring not quite 2 meters long, lives in Ise Bay just off the shore of the Mie University campus year round. There is a long history in Japan of capturing cetaceans for food in the fishing industry, breeding and exhibiting the animals in aquariums, or seeking them in the wild for tourist excursions. Internationally there are varying opinions regarding cetaceans as the largest wild marine mammals. Both animals bred in captivity and the wild from all regions are considered to be subjects of study at the Cetacean Research Center. Various methods including physiology, ecology, ethology, bioacoustics, molecular biology and biochemistry are utilized for research from basics to application for promoting breeding and propagation of individuals in aquariums and captivity, as well as studying and researching the use and conservation of wild cetaceans as resources. Going forward, the center also plans to make efforts in developing educational programs within and outside of the school for exchange between researchers and students in order to promote this research.


The Cetacean Research Center aims to provide education and conduct research on sustainable use of various forms of cetaceans as marine bioresources and simultaneously provide extensive contribution to the local community.


The Cetacean Research Center engages in the following in order to achieve its objectives.

(1) Matters regarding promotion of breeding of cetaceans in captivity

(2) Matters concerning the ecology of cetaceans

(3) Matters concerning the planning of exchange and seminars with related researchers

(4) Matters concerning cooperative research with related institutions

(5) Matters necessary to achieve other objectives of the Research Center


Breeding Research Division

* Basic physiological, behavioral and  molecular biological studies contributing to the promotion of cetacean breeding

* Basic and applied research on techniques for artificial breeding of cetaceans

* Other research related to breeding of cetaceans

Ecology Research Division

* Research concerning ecological investigation of coastal cetaceans

* Research concerning the conservation and use of wild cetaceans

* Other research concerning the ecology of cetaceans

Research Exchange and Education Division

* Planning of seminars, symposiums, etc.

* Work involving exchanges between researchers

* Work involving educational support for training and educational program development within and outside of the school

* Other work involving research exchange and education