AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for June, 2016
Setsuo Hamanaka has supported conservation for many years. In November, 2004 he was selected as a member of the First Okinotori-shima Island Inspecting Party organized by the Nippon Foundation. Okinotori-shima is facing possible submergence by rising sea levels resulting from global warming.
From November, 2006 to January 2007 he stayed in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador as a short term ODA expert sent by Japan International Cooperation Agency, where he joined the Galapagos Marine Reserve Conservation Project and worked towards reducing illegal fishing and over-fishing in the local fishery.
Setsuo is a member of the Amamo Revival Collaboration in Kanazawa-Hakkei, Tokyo Bay Area, working for revival of Amamo (eelgrass) meadows in the Tokyo Bay. see more at http://www.amamo.org/eng01.html .
Setsuo's first career was a news photographer of Press Kanagawa in Yokohama, Japan. He became freelance photo journalist in 1987 and started drawing illustrations for magazines and publications. In 1988, he reproduced 16 historical busses in real illustrations as a commission from City of Yokohama Transportation Bureau, and it was the first major work of his illustrations.
His works in early days of freelance were mainly for automobile magazines and books. But soon he started doing nature illustrations for other magazines and nature books. As a journalist, he works for some fishing magazines and sometimes he draws cartoons for them.
Fishing is partly a business and partly a lifetime hobby. He has visited the USA, both East Coast and West Coast, Saipan, Australia, Indonesia, Maldives, Italy, Spain and all over Japan. He writes articles about his fishing trips and sometimes he coordinates fishing trips for a TV program.
In 2001, he started doing oil paintings of marine wildlife with his accumulated experience. His main concern is saltwater game fishes in the tropical waters of the South Pacific but he also paints other species from all over the world. He also likes to paint seascapes as an environment of a game fish.