Kindai Univ. Working for Full-Cycle Farming of Japanese Eel

Economy Science Technology Society

Tokyo, Nov. 1 (Jiji Press)--A Kindai University-linked institution said Friday that it has succeeded in artificial incubation of Japanese eels as it aims to attain full-cycle farming and mass production of the endangered species.

The Osaka-based university's Aquaculture Research Institute artificially fertilized eggs and sperm it collected from cultivated eels. Hatched in September and October, the hatchlings have been raised for a maximum of 50 days, growing to about 2 centimeters in length.

Over 1,000 hatchlings are being fed, according to the university, which is known to have become the world's first to succeed in the full-cycle farming of bluefin tuna. It is expected to take about three years to establish a full farming cycle for the eel, in which the hatchlings will become adults and produce eggs, the eggs will be hatched and the baby eels will grow.

Previously, the state-affiliated Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency succeeded in the full-cycle culture of Japanese eels, which had been viewed as difficult as much remains unknown about the biology of the species.

Until now, however, nobody has made a commercial breakthrough due to the high costs. One fully cultured baby Japanese eel trades at about 5,000 yen, according to the agency.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press