Japanese chef Tsuyoshi Hachisuka prepares grilled eel at his restaurant in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan. Shrinking Japanese eel stocks have helped fuel a lucrative black market for the delicacy. Photo: AFP
Japanese chef Tsuyoshi Hachisuka prepares grilled eel at his restaurant in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan. Shrinking Japanese eel stocks have helped fuel a lucrative black market for the delicacy. Photo: AFP

Japanese eel is so precious it’s called ‘white gold’, but its value on the black market has made it an endangered species, and scientists still don’t know how it breeds

  • Eaten worldwide, eel is particularly popular in Japan, where it’s prepared ‘kabayaki’ style: skewered, grilled and basted in soy sauce and mirin rice wine
  • But wild eel stocks are dwindling because of pollution and overfishing, and poaching and international trafficking are also having a major impact

Topic |   Food and Drinks
Japanese chef Tsuyoshi Hachisuka prepares grilled eel at his restaurant in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan. Shrinking Japanese eel stocks have helped fuel a lucrative black market for the delicacy. Photo: AFP
Japanese chef Tsuyoshi Hachisuka prepares grilled eel at his restaurant in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan. Shrinking Japanese eel stocks have helped fuel a lucrative black market for the delicacy. Photo: AFP
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