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Jiro Kittaka

(1928 to 2013)

 

Dr. Jiro Kittaka, a member of the Japanese Society of Fisheries Science and Professor Emeritus at Kitasato University in Japan, died on March 24, 2013.  He was 84.

 

After graduating from the Department of Fisheries at the University of Tokyo in 1951, Dr. Kittaka worked at the Kyoto Prefectural Fisheries Experimental Station and Kobe University.  In 1960, he joined a shrimp (Penaeus japonicus) farming company founded by Dr. Motosaku Hudinaga.  In 1974, after doing research on shrimp farms for years, he became a Professor at Kitasato University in Sanriku, Japan, and later a dean.  In 1994, he transferred to the Research Institute for Marine Biological Science of Tokyo University of Science and the Nemuro City Fisheries Research Institute.  In 2005, after a fall at work, he retired.

 

Professor Kittaka’s work under Dr. Hudinaga led to the mass production of P. japonicus, setting the stage for the first round of shrimp hatcheries around the world.

 

At Kitasato University, he successfully bred lobsters in the Homarus genus and organized the overseas scientific surveys that led to spiny lobsters in the Jasus genus being cultured from larvae to postlarvae, a world first, giving him an international reputation.  Most recently, he worked on the mass production of crabs.

 

New Zealand’s Dr. John Booth, a world authority on spiny lobsters, said, “As a pioneer in the world of spiny lobster aquaculture, no name stands above that of Jiro Kittaka....  He was the first to grow any spiny lobster through its full larval development to settlement.  In the end, he accomplished this for five species.  The progress towards spiny lobster aquaculture worldwide owes him a great debt.”

 

Bob Murray, a former shrimp hatchery manager who later became a radiologist, forwarded the above information to Shrimp News.  He said, “I worked with Dr. Kittaka from 1970 to 1973 at Marifarms in Panama City, Florida, USA, and can state unequivocally that he was the finest supervisor and person I have ever had the pleasure of working with.  His contributions to the mass rearing of penaeid larvae in the early 1960s greatly influenced the present state of shrimp culture.  From there he later went into the culture of several lobster species and also the king crab, and was highly regarded in this field also.”

 

Sources: 1. Fisheries Science: In Memoriam: Jiro Kittaka (1928–2013).  Yasuhiro Hayakawa.  Volume 79, Issue 4, Page 557.  July 2013.  2. Emails to Shrimp News International from Bob Murray (radiating_bob@hotmail.com).  Dr. Jiro Kittaka.  February 10 and 18, 2017.

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