Japanese Unagi: Expensive Price of Japanese Freshwater Eel Unagi: Expensive Eel Fish from Japan

A special fish in Japan is Unagi. It is a freshwater eel fish. This fish is special because the price of this very popular fish in Japan has skyrocketed. In 2018, the price of one kilogram of baby eel was 35 thousand dollars. Almost equal to the price of gold at that time. These children are captured and can be raised for a year. After that, they can be sold. People have been eating eels in Japan for thousands of years. 40 to 50 tonnes of eels are sold in restaurants each year. Japanese eels are found in East Asia. In such a situation, the question arises: why is it so expensive?

The fish is very special

Their population has declined due to overfishing and damage to their habitats. Since 1980, they have fallen by 75%, causing prices to increase. Other fish are caught when they grow up, but the baby of the eel, the glass eel, is caught because of the danger to the people. They are high. It costs the most. They are fed two to three times a day. They are fed with fish feed, wheat, soybeans and fish oil. They also need to be taken care of. If a fish is injured, all the fish that live with it are spoiled. It takes 6 to 12 months. Once cultivated, they are separated according to their length. This determines where they will be sold.

The dish is also very special

The story does not end there. They are in great demand in restaurants. It can also take many years to learn how to cook a dish called Kabayaki. Therefore, it is also very expensive. In Japan, it is said that it takes a lifetime to learn how to cut eels. The same goes for grilling. You have to see it all the time. It cannot be too hard or too soft. It is eaten with rice. Its price can go up to $ 91.

Why is there a crisis?

In Japan, they are consumed more during the summer season. There is also a special festival in which this fish is eaten. Due to their dwindling population, they were declared endangered in 2014, causing problems for Japanese fishermen. Even had to import from China and Taiwan. It is also bred in the United States, where its smuggling started due to its price. Balancing fisheries has become a major challenge to cope with rising prices, declining population and declining demand.

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