Catches of baby eel decline, causing shortages throughout the world.

009_u03.jpgIt wasn’t until we interviewed a shopowner in Kanazawa that we learned of the perils confronting the unagi market. Why is this happening? The baby eel season in Japan lasts from December to March, and the eels are usually raised for several months. Since 2010, poor catches of baby eel have continued not only in Asia, but Europe as well. The cause is still unknown. Some say environmental pollution, othersblame overfishing. One thing’s for sure: If this trend continues, we may soon have to settle for less “appeeling” options.

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With unagi prices on the rise, what’ll happen to “doyo season”?

“Doyo season” refers to the time in summer when Japanese traditionally eat unagi, particularly the day of the cow, or “ushi-no-hi.” Unagi contains many vitamins and minerals, including carnosine, which provides several health benefits. People eat unagi to keep their strength up in the summer heat. In fact, you’ll often see grilled unagi on display at various food markets. However, because of rising prices, restaurants have begun to worry about losing customers.


009_u02.jpgHere’s hoping that the baby eel population manages to rebound so that we can save one of Japan’s traditional delicacies. Nothing can replace the savory smell of grilled unagi topped with tasty teriyaki sauce. It’ll leave you ree009_u01.jpgling in pleasure.