Press Release

September 29, 2011

Incorporated Administrative Agency, Fisheries Research Agency
Nagasaki University

Japan’s first production of humphead wrasse juvenile
? World’s first reproducible seed production ?

The Seikai National Fisheries Research Institute of the Fisheries Research Agency and the Aquaculture Biology Laboratory of the Graduate School of Fisheries Science and Environmental Studies of Nagasaki University have jointly produced humphead wrasse juvenile (Chelinus undulatus) for the first time in Japan.

Humphead wrasse is the largest member of the family Labridae and is an important fisheries resource of coral reefs and inshore in tropical and subtropical region of Indo-Pacific including the coastal area of Ryukyu Islands. Particularly in China, it is the high-grade fish dealt by luxury restaurants. However, international trade of the fish was limited after registered in Appendix II of CITES* in 2004. There are high expectations for aquaculture using hatchery-raised juveniles, but seed production is difficult and only one successful seed production has been reported from Indonesia.

In this study, we succeeded in efficiently obtaining fertilized eggs through artificially induced spawning. The hatched larvae of this species were found to be very small, with a small mouth, and were unable to be fed general size of live foods. We decided to feed the larvae with zooplankton Proales similis of the family Proalidae, which is not longer than 0.08 mm, and successfully produced 22 juveniles in August. In September, the culture environment was further improved, and 537 juveniles were produced, exceeding the number (120 juveniles) produced in Indonesia. This was the world’s first successful reproducible seed production of humphead wrasse.

The Fisheries Research Agency will develop our technologies using these results for starting the new aquaculture of humphead wrasse. The results are also expected to be used in studies for recovering the natural resource of humphead wrasse.


*CITES: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora


humphead wrasse(Cheilinus undulatus

humphead wrasse hatched larva Bar:1mm

Proales similis Bar:50 μm

humphead wrasse juvenile(total length 12mm)