Local fisheries cooperatives, governments and companies in the Kushiro district in eastern Hokkaido are pushing to increase the amount of “blue carbon” — a term referring to carbon captured by coastal and marine ecosystems — absorbed by artificial seaweed beds installed along the shore.

Stakeholders in the major kelp-producing region this year started researching the growing conditions of seaweeds and the amount of absorbed carbon with an aim to sell blue carbon credits.

They hope that if they can turn it into a business it can help increase the income of people in the fisheries industry suffering from poor catches. Blue carbon credits are also expected to benefit companies who purchase them as a way to promote their own environmental awareness.