A wide range of coastal areas between Tosashimizu City (Kochi Prefecture) and Uwajima City (Ehime Prefecture) are designated as the Ashizuri-Uwakai National Park by the Ministry of the Environment, Japan, and this area has a characteristic of a strong north-south gradient of surface water temperature. The purpose of this study was i) to assess the underwater landscape with a focus on corals and macroalgae that dominates the study area and ii) to evaluate how these biological resources are used and conserved in the local tourism and fishery industries based on administrative documents. The results of the analysis indicate that the areas where many corals are actually distributed may differ from the areas where tourism use and conservation activities are intensively carried out. On the other hand, for macroalgae there was a low frequency of use and awareness of the need for their conservation in areas where the aquaculture industry is active, and the actual implementation of conservation activities was limited compared to corals. When considering management proposals against future climate change, it is important to take into account not only environmental and biological projections, but also the human side of use and management. Therefore, the challenge is to build a consensus among stakeholders based on the findings of this study and reflect them in the management plan for each municipality.
In order to clear up confusion and explain problems related to coral taxonomy, such as drastic revisions in the taxonomic classification and Japanese names of the zooxanthellate scleractinian corals and problems in coral species identification, we have started a series of articles as “Topics on current taxonomy of corals”. To begin with, we will focus on the problem of “KUSHIHADA-MIDORIISHI / NANYOU-MIDORIISHI”, whose Japanese names are often confused. As a result of morphological, genetic and taxonomic analysis, all the Acropora hyacinthus-like populations in Japan should be treated as a “species complex” rather than a species unit, and should be referred to as the “Acropora hyacinthus species complex” (simplified version: Acropora hyacinthus complex) and as “KUSHIHADA-MIDORIISHI SHU-GUN” for Japanese name. However, as the “species complex” is generally not used in many cases, it is recommended that “Acropora hyacinthus” and “KUSHIHADA-MIDORIISHI” are used instead of the “Acropora hyacinthus species complex” and “KUSHIHADA-MIDORIISHI SHU-GUN” as a coping strategy until the revision and nomenclature of all species of this species complex is completed.