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Effects of silvering state on induced maturation and spawning in wild female Japanese eel Anguilla japonica


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ABSTRACT:  The effects of silvering state of wild female Japanese eels Anguilla japonica on the success of induced maturation and the following spawning were examined. Thirty-eight females, collected in Mikawa Bay, were divided into four stages based on their silvering state: yellow (Y1), late-yellow (Y2), silver (S1) and late silver eels (S2). Despite injections of salmon pituitary extract (SPE) through the standard technique, Y1 and Y2 eels did not respond to the treatment with undeveloped gonad (gonad-somatic index [GSI]: 0.3–0.9), and all these females died by 5 weeks, probably due to an abnormal physiological condition. Most S1 (81%) and S2 eels (100%) matured completely (GSI: 17.8–51.4), and finally spawned successfully (69% for S1, 89% for S2). S2 eels fully matured with oocytes of over 750 μm in diameter by significantly smaller number of injections of SPE (5–6 times) than the case of S1 eels (6–8 times). The amount of eggs released by S2 eels (0.65 ± 0.11 g/fish per body weight [BW]) was significantly larger than those by S1 eels (0.54 ± 0.09 g/fish per BW). There was no difference in fertilization and hatching rates between eggs released by S1 eels and those of S2 eels. These results indicate that the success of induced maturation and spawning in wild female Japanese eels depends on their silvering state, and matured eggs can be obtained efficiently through the use of S2 eels rather than other stages.