According to Japanese media reports, Taiwan ‘s tax authorities arrested eight suspects on flights to Hong Kong in Taoyuan Airport on 26th November. The suspects are all from Taiwan, who smuggled 320,000 eel fry, worth nearly 3.5 million yuan based on market value.
It’s reported that these live eel seedlings were packaged in 128 bags, hidden in the eight Taiwanese suitcase.
Japan enjoys the habit of eating eel in July each year. Local farmers have to get eel fry before January each year to do the farmings, only through this way to be able to sell the eels during market season. Eel fry stay in Taiwan for farming, and mature eel to be sold in Japan. Smuggling eel fry means that huge amount of output value would be channel to Japanese.
In order to protect the island aquaculture industry, the Taiwan “Fisheries Department” provides November 1 each year to 31 March the following year to prohibit eel seedlings exports.