1st Eel Eggs Finding at Sea by Japanese Team

3 02 2011

I’m not fond of this species myself but eels seem to be very popular in the Asian menus.

A team of researchers in Japan has found naturally spawned eel eggs in the ocean for the first time, a discovery they say will contribute to the aqua-farming of eels from eggs.

The researchers, led by Katsumi Tsukamoto, a professor of marine life science at the University of Tokyo’s Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, collected the eggs in May 2009 off the Mariana Islands in the western Pacific.

The team included researchers from the Fisheries Research Agency, an independent administrative institution. The finding was reported in the Feb. 1 online edition of the British journal Nature Communications.

The researchers collected the eggs in a trawling survey using plankton nets.

DNA analyses found that 31 eggs, all fertilized, were those of the freshwater eel Anguilla japonica, or Japanese eel. They measured an average 1.6 millimeters in diameter.

The team said their success was the world’s first in collecting naturally spawned eggs of any of the 19 eel species and subspecies.

Asahi Shimbun: > Read thru


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