• Kyodo

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A fisheries research center in Wakayama Prefecture said Friday it has succeeded in full-cycle artificial breeding of the bluefin tuna, which is endangered.

Officials at the Wakayama-based Fisheries Laboratory of Kinki University said that although it had succeeded in the past in artificially breeding and raising bluefin tuna, it is the first time it has achieved a full cycle, with the matured fish spawning their own eggs. The officials said it is the first time this has been done anywhere in the world.

The tuna were artificially bred and raised at one of the laboratory’s test sites near Wakayama’s Nachikatsuura port, the officials said.

The laboratory began its bluefin tuna breeding experiments in 1970, and succeeded in getting fish to spawn eggs for the first time in 1979.

However, experiments in raising hatched fish failed several times over the 10 years from 1983, with the young fish dying within a few months, the officials said.

The use later of advanced breeding technologies, among other measures, finally enabled successful artificial breeding in 1995 and 1996, they said.

On June 23, the matured adult bluefin tuna finally produced eggs. By Wednesday, some 1 million had been spawned, of which about 800,000 are being hatched, the officials said.

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