Press Release

February 23, 2012

Incorporated Administrative Agency, Fisheries Research Agency
Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo
Kyushu University

Conger myriaster spawning area discovered!
? Identified on the Kyushu-Palau Ridge south of Okinotorishima ?

  • Three- to four-day-old newly hatched larvae of conger were collected about 380 km south of Okinotorishima.
  • The mysterious spawning area of Conger myriaster was identified.

The common Japanese conger (Conger myriaster) is a popular fish for sushi and tempura. It is an important fishery species not only in Japan but also in Korea, China and throughout East Asia, but the catch has declined in recent years. For implementation of an efficient and stable stock management, the life cycle of the fish needs to be much better understood. However, no mature C. myriaster have been captured, and the spawning area and season have been obscure.

The joint study team of the Fisheries Research Agency, the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute of the University of Tokyo and Kyushu University succeeded in collecting C. myriaster preleptocephali (larvae soon after hatching), and determined the spawning area of the fish. The youngest preleptocephali were collected at 17°N, 136°E or about 380 km south of Okinotorishima and were estimated to be three to four days post-hatching. Thus, the area on the Kyushu-Palau Ridge was identified as a spawning area of the conger.

The discovery should lead to a better understanding of the recruitment mechanisms of C. myriaster and provide a valuable scientific basis for future resource management. The results appeared in Fisheries Science (February 23, 2012, electronic edition).

Japanese conger (Conger myriaster )

C. myriaster preleptocephalus Bar:1mm