To conserve eel―Ecology

Let's start off with exploring eel's biological features.

To conserve eel



・Unagi’s ecology has been mystery until recently.
・Will eel farming save eel from declining?

Eel is a common ingredient in traditional Japanese cooking. Eel belonging to the order Anguilliformes which consist of 19 families. Among those families two of them are found in Japan. Those are the Nihon-unagi and the Oo-unagi. In this website, we targeted on Nihon-unagi, which we eat most commonly.

The photo of Nihon-unagi
Source:WEB魚図鑑 The photo of Nihon-unagi

Unlike some fishes who grow where they are born in, eel migrates around the ocean as they mature. Therefore it is difficult to reveal their ecological systems. Moreover, according to the Oceanic and Atmospheric Lab of Tokyo University, since eels are always underwater, even if they attach a tracking device to them, it would be difficult, if not impossible to catch the signals. Therefore their ecosphere still remains a mystery.

Can eating cultured eel stop the declining of eel?

There are wild and cultured eels, but wild ones are extremely rare. Most of the eels sell in the current market are cultured eels. With the development of fish farming, it is believed that eel farming will bring a solution to the problem. In 2010 an independent agency called “Suisan Kenkyu Centre” did succeed in the much-anticipated cultivation of eels. However, mass production still remains a challenge, the demand for eel in current market far exceeds the supply eel farming can afford. Besides eels cultivated in Japan, there are also cultivated eels imported from other areas such as China and Taiwan. In our field work to a number of supermarkets in Funabashi, Chiba, cultured eels from Japan as well as China were sold.

Speaking of eels and Japanese,it is that day...