A 35-year-old researcher who fears the Japanese eel may soon be extinct has produced a picture book to get children to see them not just as food but as a threatened species.

“Unagi no U-chan — Daiboken” (“The Adventure of a Japanese Eel called U-chan”) offers a glimpse into the fish’s life cycle, an existence whose secrets still are not fully known to science. It was written by Mari Kuroki, an assistant professor at the University of Tokyo.

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