Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Response from Japanese researcher on artificial propagation

Dear Dr Brian,

I offer my apologies for the delay in replying to your e-mail of April 14. We had been awfully busy because so many legmen visited us to gather news since we announced that Fisheries Research Agency succeeded in closed cycle breeding of Japanese eel recently.

Our institute, the National Research Institute of Aquaculture, a branch of the Fisheries Research Agency, Japan, succeeded in raising glass eels from artificially bred larval fish in 2002 for the first time in the world.  After these glass eels became 45 to 70 centimeters long, we gave them hormones to stimulate sexual maturation to extract sperm and eggs earlier this year in our institute and another branch, and succeeded in getting some 250,000 fertile eggs on March 26 through artificial insemination. Some of them hatched the following day and are now growing smoothly having been fed since April 2. They are the second generation of artificially bred eel larvae and now we succeeded in closed cycle breeding of Japanese eel.

However, mass production technique for raising glass eels from artificially bred larvae has not establish yet, we must continue our effort to develop large scale rearing techniques and optimal larval feed.

With best wishes,
Hideki Tanaka

Head, Reproduction Research Group
Aquaculture Biology Division
National Research Institute of Aquaculture
Fisheries Research Agency, Japan

Minamiise, Watarai, Mie, 516-0193, JAPAN
TEL +81-599-66-1830
FAX +81-599-66-1962
[email protected]

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