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Compilation of Japanese fisheries statistics for the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica, since 1894: a historical dataset for stock assessment

Hakoyama, H., Fujimori, H., Okamoto, C. and Kodama, S.

Fishery sustainability and the extinction risk of the Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica, are of global concern. The landings of the Japanese eel in Japan comprise a large part of the landings in East Asia. This study provides a compiled dataset of the annual fisheries statistics of the Japanese eel in Japan for stock assessment. The Japanese government has been recording Japanese eel statistics annually since 1984 in five series of annual reports by conducting systematic questionnaire surveys of fisheries managers and associations; however, most of these data are stored in analog format. The key variables in the dataset include the harvest weight of eels, the harvest weight and number of seeds for aquaculture, the number of eels stocked, and the number of management entities engaged in the eel fishery. The levels of spatial aggregation of the variables include the site (river and lake), prefecture, inland and coastal waters, and total in Japan. We also incorporated location data (latitude and longitude) of the site and prefecture into the dataset. Eel harvest includes primarily yellow eels (late juvenile stage) and silver eels (mature stage). Seed harvest in inland waters includes glass eels (intermediate stage between leptocephalus and elver) and elvers (early juvenile stage). Seed harvest from coastal waters comprises glass eels. This dataset provides information to assess long-term trends in the Japanese eel population.

Key Words: Fishery statistics time series, Site-by-site statistics, Eel harvest, Seed harvest, Eel stocking, Fishery management entity, Glass eel, Elver, Yellow eel, Silver eel