MEPS 186:303-306 (1999)  -  doi:10.3354/meps186303

Numerical simulation to resolve the issue of downstream migration of the Japanese eel

Shingo Kimura1,*, Kristofer Döös2, Andrew C. Coward3

1Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, Nakano, Tokyo 164-8639, Japan
2Meteorologiska Institutionen, Stockholms Universitet, 10691 Stockholm, Sweden
3Southampton Oceanography Centre, Empress Dock, Southampton SO14 3ZH, United Kingdom
Fig. 1. Ocean circulation around spawning and nursery grounds of Japanese eel in East Asia. NEC: North Equatorial Current

ABSTRACT: In 1991 an expedition of a Japanese research vessel discovered that the spawning ground of the Japanese eel is located in the North Equatorial Current (NEC) in the Pacific Ocean. Several unanswered questions about the distribution of the eel and their larvae downstream of the NEC, however, remain and are unlikely to be resolved by observations alone. Three such questions are about (1) previous mis-determination of spawning ground, (2) the large larval catch off the west coast of Taiwan, not off the east coast, and (3) the low abundance of larvae in Korean coastal waters. It had been thought that the physiological behavior of adult and larval eels and their adaptation to different environments determined their distributions. However, we have demonstrated that these issues can be explained by the water circulation in the North Pacific.


KEY WORDS: Japanese eel · Larval migration · North Equatorial Current · Numerical simulation · OCCAM


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