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Japanese pioneer develops 'unagi' empire in Indonesia

Eel cultivation requires carefully transferring the maturing fry to larger tanks as the young fish grow. (Photo by Simon Roughneen)

PELABUHAN RATU, Indonesia -- This small fishing town on Java's southwest coast is best known for the legendary sea queen Nyi Roro Kidul, a spurned princess turned mermaid who is said to snatch whatever man takes her fancy from the kilometers of beach that form the town's frontier with the Indian Ocean.

     But the predatory queen is not the only marine enigma swimming through the turbulent undertow off the rain-swept coast.

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