The first production of glass eel in captivity: fish reproductive physiology facilitates great progress in aquaculture
- Cite this article as:
- Tanaka, H., Kagawa, H., Ohta, H. et al. Fish Physiology and Biochemistry (2003) 28: 493. doi:10.1023/B:FISH.0000030638.56031.ed
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Weekly injections of salmon pituitary extracts (SPE) were administered to female Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica at a dose of 20 mg/fish. This induced vitellogenesis and caused oocytes to reach the migratory nucleus stage. Later, a majority of the females that received an injection of SPE at a priming dose, followed 24 h later by 17,20β-dihydroxy-4-pregnen-3-one (DHP), ovulated 15 to 18 h after the final injection. In cultivated males, repeated injections of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) at a dose of 1 IU/g BW/week induced spermatogenesis and spermiation. Since potassium ions were revealed to be an essential constituent for the maintenance of motility in the eel spermatozoa, artificial seminal plasma containing KCl was designed as a diluent of milt, and enabled the preservation of milt for several weeks in refrigeration. As a result, artificial fertilization performed immediately after ovulation with pre-diluted and stocked milt consistently resulted in the production of high-quality gametes. Recently, a slurry-type diet made from shark egg yolk has been found to be a suitable feed for captive-bred eel larvae. Although preleptocephalus larvae can be reared with this diet beyond the depletion of their yolk and oil droplet stores, it remains inadequate because larvae reared under this way cannot be raised to the following stage. Therefore, the diet was improved by supplements of krill hydrolysate, soybean peptide, vitamins and minerals. Larvae fed on this new diet have grown to 50 to 60 mm in total length (TL), and have begun to metamorphose into glass eels approximately 250 days after hatching.