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ギャラリー [1] [2] [3.Shiretoko] [4.Garapagos]
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[Japanese]

The Sea of Shiretoko (The northernmost peninsula of Japan on Hokkaido Island) 
The season has changed and now the drift ice visits Shiretoko Peninsula. Shiretoko is one of my favorite seas. How many times have I dived below the ice at minus 2 degrees centigrade. The drift ice delivers the huge volume of phytoplankton and promises a rich sea there. You will see a whole bunch of unique creatures of Shiretoko.
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The arrival of the drift ice. When viewing from the water, the drift ice is packed with phytoplankton and ice algae.
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Warm lights were breaking through into the freezing sea. It was a glorious view.
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Phyllospadix iwatensis makino grow densely in the sunlight. The way they swing with the waves is so beautiful.
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A huge paroctopus dofleini stays still on the bottom of the sea. After a while it started to move slowly toward me.
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Gonatus onyx young (clawed armhood squid) comes to the shallows from the deep sea for spawning. After completing the total birth process, she ends her life on the spot. 。
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Gillnets are set all over the coast. Not only flounders but anarhichas orientalis (Bering wolffish) are caught in the nets.
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A very expensive erimacrus isenbeckii (horsehair crab) is quickly passing in front of me. This size crab would cost 5000 Yen ($50).
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There are so many kinds of jellyfish in Shiretoko. From tiny ones to gigantic ones, they all float comfortably in the cold water.
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The enedrias crassispina (mottled gunnel) comes out from the seaweed and behaves strangely on the sand.
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The euprymna morsei changes its body color quickly from one color to another. If I get too close, it runs away leaving its black ink.
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The anarhichas orientalis (Bering wolffish) shows its presence. This fish is known as the god of the sea. Due to the deterioration of the environment, the numbers have been rapidly decreasing.
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The aptocyclus ventricosus (smooth lumpsucker) is watching for the spawn. They are very dedicated and respectful in the way they protect and raise their spawn. After all the babies have departed, the parents end their lives.
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The fish in Shiretoko are very unique. I am seeing most of them for the first time and as I lose myself in observing them, I forget about the coldness of the water. The one in the photo is a podothecus thompsoni Jordan et Gilbert (cockscomb poacher).
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A chirolophis japonicus herzenstein is watching me from a rock hole. As I look at this fish, I wonder why he was given this kind of face and I feel sorry for him.
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A kind of cottus pollux (Japanese fluvial sculpin) is a rugged looking fish. But when I look at it carefully, it is so colorful and amazing.
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Clione limacina (sea angel) is sometimes called the angel in the drift ice. The length is about 1 or 2 centimeters (less than an inch). It is a kind of clam without a shell. It visits Shiretoko with the drift ice.
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A variety of the Cottus pollux (Japanese fluvial sculpin) was facing me. I could not tell if it was alive or dead and I reached out my hand to it. Then it turned its face aside as if saying “Don’t bother me.”
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The eumicrotremus taranetzi (a kind of lumpfish) with a suctorial belly, swims unsteadily in the sea and makes a perfect landing on the seaweed and the rocks.
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The ernogrammus hexagrammus (sixline prickleback) is so colorful that I thought it was a tropical fish. It was crawling on the sea bottom.
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The metriadium senile var. fimbriatum (a variety of actinia) covers all over the rocks in the water. The sea of Shiretoko is as colorful as coral reefs.

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