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Rare mollusks found at proposed MCAS airport site

Date Posted: 2003-04-12

Seven types of mollusks never before found in Japan have been discovered off the coast of Henoko. The site is the planned location of the replacement facility for MCAS Futenma, according to a report released by a team of environmental reseachers.

The report, compiled by a team headed by Taiji Kurozumi, a senior researcher at the Natural History Museum and Institute in Chiba Prefecture, may prompt stronger calls to preserve wildlife at the site. Previously, the site has drawn attention for endangered dugongs that are also said to inhabit the area.

The research team says there may be more than 1,000 types of mollusks in the area. Their report was based on 14 days of research in about 30 locations, including the seabed of the planned airport site. The survey was conducted in January, May and August last year.

The government is scheduled to assess the environmental impact of the proposed airport this summer. Kurozumi said he wants an evaluation made on how the airport will affect the mollusks in Henoko.

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