Asia Times: Another favorite dish going extinct
….. the European Union to slash eel exports…mostly juvenile eel caught off the coasts of France and Spain and then dispatched to countries such as China for cultivation, account for between 50% to 70% of Japanese consumption…Catches of young eels in Japanese waters have plunged to around 20 tons to 30 tons – about one-tenth the figure in the 1970s, mostly due to coastal destruction…more…
Boned and grilled eels are a favorite part of the Japanese diet. But high cost of Japanese eel and its scarcity have created the ecological nightmare of “jetset eels.” Japanese eel in serious decline so they spend zillions of yen to fly live young eels (elvers) from China and Europe to stock their eel ponds, despite a wildly high mortality rate. Only about 30 percent of the eels survive to make it to the market. No telling what this crisis means for Japanese Eel Ice Cream (Unagi Aisu) as featured in the MSN-Mainichi Daily News.
For more on this crisis, check my previous reports on Japan’s severe hovercraft problems in:
—Mysterious spawning site of Japanese elvers revealed!
—‘My Japanese hovercraft is full of eels’
—Eat my eel!