Scientific name
Anguilla japonica
Production method
IUCN status
Source of fry

Juveniles source from over-fished stock 


Japanese eel is a carnivorous fish grown using artificial feed. The fish-in-fish-out ratio is high, requiring large volumes of fish feed are needed to produce one kilogram of eel.  Information on the feed manufacturers from this assessment is lacking. It can be assumed that eel farms do not import their feed from producers outside China. In addition, farmers might even use farm-made feed instead of commercially manufactured feed or a mixture of both.

Ecological effects

This production method creates moderate waste discharge. Habitat alteration is required in farmed eel, with mostly former agricultural land that were transformed for eel culture. There is potential escape risk but Japanese eel is a native species in China, hence the escape impact is low. No information could be found on the impact of disease and parasite transfer of cultured Japanese eel to wild species but the import of other eel species does pose a risk. The use of some harmful chemicals is prohibited by Chinese authorities, with several incidents of prohibited chemicals detected in eel products coming from China. 


Improvements are being made in China’s legal framework for aquaculture practices. New laws are being enacted to improve strategic aquaculture planning, reduce pollution by waste discharge, chemical use etc. However, major problems still exist throughout the sector. Overall management in China is marginally effective.