Stone tidal weirs in the People’s Republic of China (Source: Akifumi Iwabuchi)
On the Frontline of Climate Change

The Underwater Cultural Heritage of Stone Tidal Weirs





Stone tidal weirs are not just relics of the past; they also serve as a guide to future sustainable marine ecological conservation. They symbolize the ability of humans to adapt, use, and live in balance and harmony with the ocean environment. Situated along intertidal or coastal zones, these stone tidal weirs are on the frontline of climate impact and are often abandoned as the local community cannot afford the costs of repair. This has led to loss of this valuable traditional resource management system that contributes to tangible and intangible heritage of coastal communities, as well as to culture and biodiversity.

How to Cite

Iwabuchi, A. (2022). On the Frontline of Climate Change: The Underwater Cultural Heritage of Stone Tidal Weirs. Blue Papers, 1(1), 89–95.





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Author Biography

Akifumi Iwabuchi, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Professor of Maritime Anthropology and Nautical Archaeology at Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, which is a member institution of the UNESCO UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology. He is the ICOMOS-ICUCH National Representative for Japan, Vice-President of the Japan Society for Nautical Research, a director of the Asian Research Institute of Underwater Archaeology, and a director of the Japan Maritime Promotion Forum. He received his DPhil from the University of Oxford in 1990.


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Zayas, Cynthia Neri. 2019. “Stone Tidal Weirs Rising from the Ruins.” Journal of Ocean and Culture 2: 88–109.