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Japanese treat themselves to grilled eels on annual eel-eating day

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The domestic catch of juvenile eels rose early this year 

some local governments in Japan have introduced regulations to protect adult eels that have yet to spawn eggs.

Is it just me or is there a major contradiction in these two statements? Is it any wonder the eels are extinct in some rivers and endangered across the country? They protect the adult eels, but eat the juveniles? What the heck is that crap?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

There is no contradiction. The juvenile eels are caught to raise on farms, and they are then sold when they become adults as "farmed" eels. The adult eels needing protection are wild eels that have yet to spawn. The drop in eel populations is not just in Japan it is a worldwide problem including the European species. The cause is not overfishing but the development of dams and barriers which block their natural migratory habits.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Ossan - you are correct in stating that environmental concerns have impacted eel populations.

But overfishing is certainly detrimental. No question about it and supported by international data.

Traditionally in Japan, eel was a special dish to be consumed in mid-summer once or twice. Now it is available all year round and is eaten in vast quantities.

Annually, 75% of the world's eels are consumed in Japan. They have to come from somewhere, and that is where the lucrative glass eel industry comes into play. Result is a ravaging of stocks.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/oct/27/the-decline-of-the-eel

The English also love their eels and face a similar problem. The amount of eel and pie shops have declined considerably there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

AFRet - Eel has not recently been a popular dish in Britain - I was brought up there and was never given it or seen it on menus at restaurants (not that I've looked particularly hard). It's traditionally been a more popular dish around London, particularly in the form of jellied eels (which sounds revolting to me!), but even then, it's a niche market such as whale in Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For anyone with a love of good books and these wonderful creatures, I'd like to recommend Waterland by Graham Swift.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yeah they have begun to roll out the eel bentos at combinis as well since last week

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Why bother eating rip off eel any other day of the year when you can queue up for ages to eat rip off eel on the 25th July?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I ate one. So good. But, since they found the breeding ground off the Taiwan coast, I will probably stop eating them because they will be fished to extinction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

^^^^ Unagi is the fresh water eel and anago is the salt water eel.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

browny1Today 09:00 am JSTOssan - you are correct in stating that environmental concerns have impacted eel populations.

Traditionally in Japan, eel was a special dish to be consumed in mid-summer once or twice. Now it is available all year round and is eaten in vast quantities.

That is correct. Most of that eel is imported from China and Taiwan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"In Japan, many people eat eel, typically grilled with sweet soy sauce, on the midsummer day of the ox following an old saying that consuming eels on that day helps in coping with the summer heat."

I hope they also ate them in view of Morning GLory flowers, since they make the heart soften in the summer heat, and with the sound of wind chimes, since they believe those also make things cooler. Perhaps the combined national superstitions, if believed enough, can actually drop the thermostat! If that happens, I'll personally go out and CATCH the eels to give them next year, but I won't hold my breath... nor will I pay the jacked up prices for something that's not that great to begin with (and in some cases imported and mislabeled).

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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