A university in Japan recently became the first to successfully breed Japanese eels by hatching fish larvae from older specimens farmed in the facility. The discovery occurs amid a rapid decline in the species' numbers in the wild and a heightened interest in conservation efforts.

Kindai University in Osaka Prefecture recently achieved a "full-cycle" aquaculture of the eels, an endangered species and a prized delicacy in Japan. But although hopes are high about utilizing the method for commercial use, the goal has yet to be realized.

The university used similar methods to those of the state-run Japan Fisheries Research and Education Agency, which in 2010 became the first facility in the world to achieve full-cycle eel farming, a process that involves incubating and cultivating eels so they produce offspring.