Editor's Summary

23 February 2006

Japanese eels to go


The reproductive cycle of Japanese anguillid eels involves a remarkable journey. The eel's spawning area has now been located with pinpoint accuracy to a spot around a seamount in the Philippine Sea, thousands of kilometres away from their freshwater rivers. The precise positioning of this zone contrasts to the much larger swathe of the Sargasso Sea that attracts European and American anguillid eels, and may have developed in order to place the eel's tiny larvae into the ocean currents that take them to their growth habitat in east Asia. These eels are a popular delicacy in Japan and in the 1990s their population collapsed in the face of growing demand. Better knowledge of the hitherto mysterious spawning patterns of these eels may help in their conservation.

News and ViewsMarine biology: Spawning spot

Rosalind Cotter

doi:10.1038/439926a

Brief CommunicationsOceanic biology: Spawning of eels near a seamount

Tiny transparent larvae of the Japanese eel collected in the open ocean reveal a strategic spawning site.

Katsumi Tsukamoto

doi:10.1038/439929a

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