“Unagi” have started to give up on Japan

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The selling season for Unagi, Japanese eel, starts every year in Japan in late July.

For Japanese people, eating Unagi in this season is a tradition.

Accordingly, Unagi restaurants have their busy season, and major convenience store chains or supermarkets are focused on selling pre-prepared Unagi.

However, I wonder how many Japanese people recognize that Unagi (Anguilla japonica) is an endangered species.

Today, Japanese people can eat Unagi all year long without restrictions.

Because of that, this shocking fact is not getting attention in Japan.

According to the experts, there are three reasons to explain why Unagi is in danger of dying out.

The reasons are global warming, overfishing, and the degeneration of the growing environment.

Among them, the third reason is the most familiar problem for Japanese people in general.

It is considered that there is a spawning ground of Unagi in the west sea bottom of  the Mariana Islands.

After hatching, juvenile Unagi head to Japan, and they grow in rivers and lakes of all over Japan.

After they have grown, they return to the sea of Mariana Island from Japan, and they lay their eggs.

There is now a defect in their growth cycle.

The number of juvenile Unagi heading to Japan has been declining rapidly.

The cause of this is the riparian maintenance for river revetments all over Japan.

Floodgates at the mouths of rivers or dams act as barriers to juvenile Unagi trying to swim upstream.

It is an uncomfortable environment for them.

Modernization has destroyed much of the natural riparian environment in Japan.

I think that Unagi have started to give up on Japan. That’s a warning about our excessive economic supremacy.

The Japanese media always just happily reports that “The season for delicious Unagi has come again this year!”.

I think that they must report about various problems regarding Unagi.

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