Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This species is located on the east, southeast, and south coasts of Japan, including Okinawa Trough.
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Northwest Pacific: Japan.
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Japan.
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Physical Description

Size

Maximum size: 540 mm TL
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Max. size

54.0 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 31276))
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Diagnostic Description

Six gill pouches. Ventral finfold well developed. Fused cusps 3/2, total cusps 42-46. Total slime pores 95-101. Anterior part of head lighter color than body (Ref. 51420).
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Type Information

Cotype for Myxine garmani
Catalog Number: USNM 49981
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Locality: Misaki, Honshu, Japan, Pacific
  • Cotype:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found on the continental slope at depths from 200-1,100 m (Nakabo 2002).

The copulatory organ is absent in this species. The gonads of hagfishes are situated in the peritoneal cavity. The ovary is found in the anterior portion of the gonad, and the testis is found in the posterior part. The animal becomes female if the cranial part of the gonad develops or male if the caudal part undergoes differentiation. If none develops, then the animal becomes sterile. If both anterior and posterior parts develop, then the animal becomes a functional hermaphrodite. However, hermaphroditism being characterised as functional needs to be validated by more reproduction studies (Patzner 1998).

The longevity of this species is estimated to be 17 from specimens in aquariums (M. Mincarone pers. comm.). The generation length is therefore conservatively estimated to be eight years.

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

bathydemersal; non-migratory; marine; depth range 500 - 800 m (Ref. 31276)
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Depth range based on 1 specimen in 1 taxon.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 563 - 563
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 500 - 800m.
From 500 to 800 meters.

Habitat: bathydemersal.
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Copulatory organ absent. The gonads of hagfishes are situated in the peritoneal cavity. The ovary is found in the anterior portion of the gonad, and the testis is found in the posterior part. The animal becomes female if the cranial part of the gonad develops or male if the caudal part undergoes differentiation. If none develops, then the animal becomes sterile. If both anterior and posterior parts develop, then the animal becomes a functional hermaphrodite. However, hermaphroditism being characterised as functional needs to be validated by more reproduction studies (Ref. 51361 ).
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
VU
Vulnerable

Red List Criteria
A2bd

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2011

Assessor/s
Mincarone, M.M. & Mok, H.-K.

Reviewer/s
Polidoro, B., Knapp, L. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is only known from southeastern and southern Japan, where it is targeted by commercial fisheries in at least half of its known range. Mixed hagfish landings data from the southeastern portion of this species' range from 1980-1995 show a 70% decline with effort that has remaining consistent through this period. As this species is the most common in this fishing area, it is assumed that the majority of the catch is M. garmani. The fishery has still not ceased despite low population levels. If only this regional decline is taken into account, a minimum of a 35% decline in population is estimated across the full extent of its known distribution over the past 25 years (three generations). This species is listed as Vulnerable under criterion A2bd.
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Population

Population
This is a very common deeper water species but there is little or no information on actual population levels and trends for this species.

Population Trend
Decreasing
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Threats

Major Threats
This species is an important commercial species that is targeted along the southeastern coast of Japan. Because of the paucity of the local source of roast hagfish, Paramyxine atami sold in Teradomari near Niigata, a large amount of M. garmani were imported from Onahama (eastern Japan) to Teradomari (western Japan) until 1994 in order to supplement the Paramyxine catch. However, the hagfish catch off Onahama declined rapidly, perhaps due to overfishing by Japanese and Korean boats off the coast of Fukushima Prefecture (Honma 1998). While catch data is mixed and reported as aggregate for Hagfish, the hag fishery in this region has declined both in terms of numbers of boats and in size of catch (Gorbman et al. 1990, Honma 1998), but has increased in value.

Mixed hagfish landings data in this region between 1980 and 1995 shows a 70% decline in total hagfish catch (Gorbman et al. 1990; Honma 1998) and effort has remained consistent through this period, likely as a result of low abundance levels. The fishery has not ceased despite low population levels.
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Vulnerable (VU) (A2bd)
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no conservation measures in place, but more research is needed on this species' biology, population size, distribution and the impact of fisheries.
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