Symposium discusses how to protect Japanese eels

How to protect a popular delicacy was the subject of a symposium held at the University of Tokyo on Saturday. Japanese eel is on the list of endangered species.

About 200 people took part in the event, titled "Can public policy save eels?"

Government officials described what they're doing to protect the species.

A land ministry official said creating a habitable environment is becoming important in river management. He described projects to build fish ladders where rivers have been dammed.

A fisheries agency official said his agency is restricting the fishing of adult eels migrating to spawn.

He said eels are important to Japan's food culture. He added that he wants to take comprehensive measures with other agencies to use them in a sustainable manner.

According to the agency, the annual catch of natural Japanese eels dropped from about 2,800 tons in 1965 to 70 tons in 2015.