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Japan targets farm-raised eel fry by 2020

The government hopes to develop a sustainable farming program for eel, a Japanese delicacy listed as endangered.

TOKYO -- Japan aims to have methods for farming juvenile eels on a large scale in place by 2020, locking down a sustainable source for the fish as key species face the possibility of extinction.

Much of the eel eaten in Japan comes from fry captured in the wild and raised to maturity on farms. No farmed-from-birth option is currently on the market. The government-affiliated Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency is studying ways to hatch and raise eels in captivity at a Shizuoka Prefecture facility. But only 1.6% of eels hatched have made it to the juvenile stage in experiments so far.

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