JAPANESE JOURNAL OF ECOLOGY
Online ISSN : 2424-127X
Print ISSN : 0021-5007
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Current activities and challenges for conservation and sustainable harvest of Japanese eel in Japan
Kenzo KaifuFisheries AgencyWildlife Division, Nature conservation bureau, Ministry of EnvironmentNoritaka MochiokaPalsystem Consumers’ Co-operative UnionMiki YamaokaHiroyuki KurotaTakehito Yoshida
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Volume 68 (2018) Issue 1 Pages 43-57

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Abstract

The catch of the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica, has decreased since the 1970s and this species is currently listed as endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. This article reviews current activities for the conservation and sustainable harvest of the Japanese eel in Japan and discusses the challenges that need to be overcome. The public and private sectors have been conducting stocking, research, and habitat restoration activities and making donations for the purpose of species conservation. However, only one academic paper has assessed its population dynamics and a web search revealed only a few activities aimed at restoring the Japanese eel habitat. Because the available data on its population dynamics are so limited, stock management procedures should be selected carefully. In addition to fisheries management, the rivers and lakes where the Japanese eel spends its growth phase should be restored. Because of its high trophic level and broad habitat range, the Japanese eel can be a flagship species for aquatic ecosystems.

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© 2018 The Ecological Society of Japan
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