In response to worries about a trend of declining eel catches, fisheries ministries from Japan, China, and Taiwan have decided to join forces in preserving an important marine and economic resource. Japan imports 60 percent of its supply of Nihon unagi or Japanese eel from China and Taiwan.
Eel catches has been dwindling and the three countries are worried about eel overfishing, prompting authorities to take countermeasures to ensure a stable supply of Japanese eel in the future for their mutual benefit. Fisheries agencies from the three countries agreed on a plan last December, which included sharing of data by May. The data will contain fishery yields, amount of farmed eels, and eel trade volumes. They will also establish in two years a system to keep track of global eel distribution in order to have a better handle on the overfishing issue.
The three Asian countries aren’t the only ones worried about the situation. The U.S. planned to propose an international trade regulation on eel catches. It initially planned to submit this at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), also known as the Washington Convention, to be held this March, but has decided not to push through with the proposal.
[ via AsiaOne News ]