For the Sustainable Use of Eel Resources

The Place of the Eel in Japan

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About Us (All Japan Association for Sustainable Eel Aquaculture Incorporated)

1 Background

In the "7th Informal Discussions Regarding the International Resources Conservation and Management of the Japanese Eel, Anguilla japonica, (September 2014)" held between the users of Japanese eel resources, i.e., Japan, China, Korea and Chinese Taipei.

A joint statement was issued announcing the decisions "to establish a single eel cultivation management body within each country and region" and "to establish an international eel cultivation management organization by these eel cultivation management bodies".

Acting on that statement, this organization was established as the Japan's eel aquaculture management body.

2 The Establishment

Oct. 20, 2014

3 Chairman

Hitoshi Omori

4 Objective

Ensuring the sustainable use of eel resources

5 Business content

・Appropriate management of eel resources.
・Promotion of the use of eels aquacultured under the management appropriate for eel resources.
・Study on the management of eel resources, trade and market.
・Promotion of exchangesand cooperation between the international eel farmers to foster the appropriate management of eel resources

6 Organizational Structure

The members are each prefecture's eel aquaculture management association, etc., consisting of licensed eel farmers holding the "eel aquaculture" permit issued by the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

7 Others

Based on the above-mentioned 1-(2), this organization, together with the organizations in other countries and regions, established an international non-governmental association, the "Alliance for Sustainable Eel Aquaculture (ASEA)" (June 2015).


Japanese are said to have been eating eel since the Jomon Period (approx. 14,500 - 300 BC), and during the Edo period it became popular as a dish to prevent summer heat fatigue. Thus, the eel is one of the key ingredients of Japan traditional culinary tradition.

Eel resources are said to be in decline.
With eel consumption in this country so high, the protection of this traditional culinary culture requires Japan to lead the way in East Asia in the management of this resource by providing greater efforts and strong leadership.

To protect eel resources in a sustainable way, it is important for the countries concerned to cooperate within an international framework in managing eel resources, while also continuing to promote this strategy to the international community.
So that the countries concerned could work together within consistent management guidelines, from glass eel to parent eel, the bodies covering eel aquaculture management in Japan, China, South Korea and Chinese Taipei met in 2015 and formed a new international organization, the "Alliance for Sustainable Eel Aquaculture (ASEA)"

The managing of eel resources cannot be achieved by producers alone.
It is essential that all those involved in the eel industry are made fully aware of the need to conserve this resource and make this priority part of their day-to-day operations.
Let us unite all eel industry stakeholders to work on promotion measures that will safeguard the heritage of our eel culinary culture for future generations.

Hitoshi Omori. Chairman, All Japan Association for Sustainable Eel Aquaculture Incorporated
and also Inaugural Chairman of the "Alliance for Sustainable Eel Aquaculture (ASEA)".

Resource Management

Promotion of Collaborative Efforts in Eel Resource Management with the Four East Asian Members.

Eels Make a Great Migration

There are 19 species of eels in the world. Japanese eel (Scientific Name: Anguilla japonica)resorce is mainly utilized in East Asia region.
Though the ecology of Japanese eel is not elucidated well, recent research revealed that after staying in rivers or estuaries for 5 to 15 years, the eels return to the sea and spawn in areas to west of the Mariana Ridge.

One resource is shared with four East Asian members.

Hatched eel babies are carried by the Kuroshio Current and reach Japan, Chinese Taipei, China and Korea,where they are utilized for eel farming around November to April in the following year.
As we are sharing the same eel resource, it is necessary for these four East Asian members to cooperate on conservation and management of Japanese eel, for its sustainable use.

  The Upper Limit on intial input of Japanese Eels into Farming Ponds (The 2016 input Seasons)
  Japanese eel Other eel species
Japan 21.7tons 3.5tons
China 36.0tons 32.0tons
Korea 11.1tons 13.1tons
10.0tons 10.0tons
Restrict the Number of Japanese Eels in Farming Ponds

Japan, China, Korea and Chinese Taipei have had international consultation, with the initiative of Japan, since 2012. In 2014,they released the upper limit joint statement as follows.

・For Japanese eel, the amount of initial input of eel seeds for the 2014-2015 input season (November 2014-October 2015) will be no more than 80% of that of the 2013-2014 input season.
・For other eel species, every possible measure not to increase the amount initial input of eel seeds from recent level (the last three years) will be taken.

For the 2016 input season, the upper limit of Japanese eels put into farming ponds is kept at the same level as that of the 2015 input season.