Q & A with Taiki Ogawa

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?

My future goal is to promote the sustainable use of fisheries resources. After majoring in fish population dynamics at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute of the University, I worked in the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) as a fisheries management officer both domestically and internationally. I participated in many bilateral and multilateral fisheries negotiations as a member of the Japanese delegation. These experiences at FAJ made me realize the need to strengthen my capacities, in particular, on economic, public policy, and stock assessment disciplines, which contribute to sustainable fisheries management. After careful examination, I became confident that the Marine Affairs program is the best for me because I believe that I can improve my practical analysis skills on these subjects in the program.

 Why did you decide to come to UW’s SMEA for graduate school?

This is because UW offers various advanced programs on marine affairs, which are led by internationally renowned faculty. I was thinking that I could tailor my coursework fitted to my interests and gain a broad range of knowledge on fisheries through discussions with students who have similar interests from a wide variety of backgrounds. In addition, expanding my social network through the UW community was an important part of my motive to apply to SMEA. I have known that SMEA alumni are widely distributed in scientific, governmental, and business societies in the U.S. and other nations, especially in fisheries area. Thus, I thought that I could have the opportunity to meet students who will become future counterparts at UW.

Are you doing a thesis or capstone project? If thesis, what are you writing your thesis about and why? If capstone, what is the project about? 

I am taking the thesis track. I am conducting comparative studies on fisheries management systems between the U.S. and Japan. In particular, I am focusing on the socioeconomic and fisheries management effects of quota management systems.

What has been your favorite class at UW so far? Why?

This is a hard question to answer because there are many great classes which I have taken. But, I would say that my most favorite class is U.S. Fisheries Management and Policy with Professor David Fluharty. The class focuses on understanding the relationships among federal fisheries laws, policies, institutions, processes, and practice. I learned many substantive and practical knowledge of US fishery management law and policy, including the roles of Fisheries Regional Fishery Management Councils, and the history of fisheries policy in the U. S.

What do you like most about SMEA?

My most favorite thing about SMEA is my classmates in the same cohort. I am very happy to join this community, and I learned many new perspectives from them since we have many different backgrounds. In addition, I really like our mind that we help each other inside and outside classroom, especially when we have troubles or difficulties.

What’s it like to live in Seattle? What do you do in your spare time?

I love Seattle Sounders very much. I am from Tokyo, Japan, but my support team is Seattle Sounders. I usually watch a Sounder’s game in CenturyLink Field when we have a game in Seattle. I am so excited to watch a postseason match here in Seattle this October.

What did you do in the summer?

I did an internship at the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) from June to August. During my internship, I mainly worked with FAO employees who focus on tenure and user rights and fish stock assessment. It was an excellent experience for me to discuss fisheries issues from different countries.

If you could design your ultimate job after graduating, what would it be and why?

As I mentioned earlier, my future goal is to promote the sustainable use of fisheries resources. Thus, after graduation, I want to continue to work in FAJ to promote it in both in domestic and international fisheries fields. I am also interested in working in an international organization, which promotes the sustainable use of fisheries. I believe that knowledge and skills which I have learned in SMEA would be so instructive and helpful in these workplaces.