Kenzo Kaifu
Professor, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
724-1 Higashinakano, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo, 192-0393 Japan

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Research Interest

The aim of our lab is to conserve and improve aquatic ecosystem services. Anguillid eel species, especially Japanese eel, Anguilla japonica, are the most relevant target species in this lab. To contribute conservation and sustainable use of Anguillid eels, we are working on the following subjects, using multidisciplinary approaches.

  • Ecology of Anguillid eels in continental waters
  • Effectiveness and appropriateness of eel stocking
  • Glass eel IUU
  • Distribution, ecology and use of Anguillid eels before anthropocene
  • International framework for Anguillid eel management
  • Sustainable use of eels in Indonesia


  • 2021-now: Professor, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
  • 2019-now: Honorary Conservation Fellow, Zoological Society of London
  • 2016-2020: Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
  • 2015-now: Anguillid Eel Specialist Group, Species Survival Committee, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • 2014-2016: Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Chuo University
  • 2011-2014: Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo


  • 2007-2011: PhD (Agriculture)
    Graduate School of Agriculture and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2003-2005: Master of Marine Science
    Graduate School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, Tokyo, Japan 
  • 1993-1998: Bachelor of Sociology
    Faculty of Sociology, Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan 

Selected Publications

  1. Solé M, Kaifu K, Mooney TA, Nedelec SL, Olivier F, Radford A, Vazzana M, Wale M, Semmens JM, Simpson SD, Buscaino G, Hawkins A, Aguilar De Soto N, Akamatsu T, Chauvaud L, Day RD, Fitzgibbon Q, McCauley R, André M (2023) Marine Invertebrates and Noise. Frontiers in Marine Science (Review)
  2. Wakiya R, Itakura H, Hirae T, Igari T, Manabe M, Matsuya N, Miyata K, Sakata MK, Minamoto T, Yada T, Kaifu K (2022) Slower growth of farmed eels stocked into rivers with higher wild eel density. Journal of Fish Biology, 101, 613-627
  3. Wakiya R, Itakura H, Imayoshi Y, Kaifu K (2022) Agonistic behaviour of wild eels and depressed survival and growth of farmed eels in mixed rearing experiments. Journal of Fish Biology, 100, 1365-1374
  4. Kaifu K, Yokouchi K, Miller MJ, Washitani I (2021) Management of glass eel fisheries is not a sufficient measure to recover a local Japanese eel population. Marine Policy, 134, 104806
  5. Righton D, Piper A, Aarestrup K, Amilhat E, Belpaire C, Casselman J, Castonguay M, Diaz E, Doerner H, Faliex B, Feunteun E, Fukuda N, Hanel R, Hanzen C, Jellyman D, Kaifu K, McCarthy K, Miller M, Pratt T, Sasal P, Schabetsberger R, Shiraishi H, Simon G, Sjoberg N, Steele K, Tsukamoto K, Walker A, Westerberg H, Yokouchi K, Gollock M (2021) Important questions to progress science and sustainable management of Anguillid eels. Fish and Fisheries, 22, 762-788
  6. Yokouchi K, Itakura H, Wakiya R, Yoshinaga T, Mochioka N, Kimura S, Kaifu K (2021) Cumulative effects of low-head weirs on distributions of catadromous freshwater eels in five rivers in Japan. Animal Conservation
  7. Itakura H, Wakiya R, Gollock M, Kaifu K (2020) Anguillid eels as a surrogate species for conservation of freshwater biodiversity in Japan. Scientific Reports, 10, 1-12
  8. Yada T, Abe M, Kaifu K, Yokouchi K, Fukuda N, Kodama S, Hakoyama H, Ogoshi M, Kaiya H, Sakamoto T, Moriyama S, Tsukamoto K (2020) Ghrelin and food acquisition in wild and cultured Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica). Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A. 110700
  9. Wakiya R, Kaifu K, Azechi K, Tsukamoto K, Mochioka N (2020) Evaluation of downward movements of Japanese eels Anguilla japonica inhabiting brackish water areas. Journal of Fish Biology, 96, 516-526
  10. Wakiya R, Itakura H, Kaifu K (2019) Age, growth, and sex ratios of Anguilla marmorata in freshwater habitats near their northern geographic limit. Zoological Studies, 58, e34
  11. Kaifu K, Yokouchi K (2019) Increasing or decreasing? – current status of the Japanese eel stock. Fisheries Research, 220, 
  12. Arai K, Itakura H, Yoneta A, Kaifu K, Shirai K, Miyake Y, Kimura S (2019) Anthropogenic impacts on the distribution of wild and cultured Japanese eels in the Tone River watershed, Japan, from otolith oxygen and carbon stable isotopic composition. Environmental Biology of Fishes102, 1405-1420
  13. Kaifu K (2019) Challenges in assessments of Japanese eel stock. Marine Policy, 102, 1-4
  14. Itakura H, Wakiya R, Yamamoto S, Kaifu K, Sato T, Minamoto T (2019) Environmental DNA analysis reveals the abundance and biomass of the Japanese eel (Anguilla japonica) in rivers. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystem, 29, 361-373
  15. Itakura H, Arai K, Kaifu K, Shirai K, Yoneta A, Miyake Y, Secor DH, Kimura S (2018) Distribution of wild and stocked Japanese eels in the Tone River watershed revealed by otolith stable isotopic ratios. Journal of Fish Biology, 93, 805-813
  16. Kaifu K, Yokouchi K, Higuchi T, Itakura H, Shirai K (2018) Depletion of naturally recruited wild Japanese eels in Okayama, Japan, revealed by otolith stable isotope ratios and abundance indices. Fisheries Science, 84, 757-763
  17. Kaifu K, Itakura H, Amano Y, Shirai K, Yokouchi K, Wakiya R, Murakami-Sugihara N, Washitani I, Yada T (2018) Discrimination of wild and cultured Japanese eels based on otolith stable isotope ratios. ICES Journal of Marine Science 75, 719-726
  18. Arai K, Itakura H, Yoneta A, Yoshinaga T, Shirotori F, Kaifu K, Kimura S (2017) Discovering the dominance of the non-native European eel in the upper reaches of the Tone River system, Japan. Fisheries Science, 83, 735-742
  19. Wakiya R, Kaifu K, Mochioka N (2016) Growth conditions after recruitment determine residence-emigration tactics of female Japanese eels, Anguilla japonicaFisheries Science 82, 729-736
  20. Jacoby DMP, Casselman JM, Crook V, DeLucia MB, Hyojin Ahn H, Kaifu K, Kurwie T, Sasal P, Silfvergrip AMC, Smith KG, Uchida K, Walker AM and Gollock MJ (2015) Synergistic patterns of threat and patchy data challenge the global conservation of anguillid eels. Global Ecology and Conservation 4, 321-333
  21. Terui A, Miyazaki Y, Yoshioka A, Kaifu K, Matsuzaki S, Washitani I (2014) Asymmetric dispersal structures a riverine metapopulation of the freshwater pearl mussel Margaritifera laevis. Ecology and Evolution 4, 3004-3014
  22. Yokouchi K, Kaneko Y, Kaifu K, Aoyama J, Uchida K, Tsukamoto K (2014) Demographic survey of the yellow-phase Japanese eel Anguilla japonica in Japan. Fisheries Science 80, 543-554
  23. Kaifu K, Maeda H, Yokouchi K, Sudo R, Miller MJ, Aoyama J, Yoshida T, Tsukamoto K and Washitani I (2014) Do Japanese eels recruit into the Japan Sea coast?: a case study in the Hayase River system, Fukui Japan. Environmental Biology of Fishes 97, 921-928
  24. Kaifu K, Miller MJ, Aoyama J, Washitani I, Tsukamoto K (2013) Evidence of niche segregation between freshwater eels and conger eels in Kojima Bay, Japan. Fisheries Science 79, 593-603
  25. Kaifu K, Yokouchi K, Aoyama J, Tsukamoto K (2013) Head shape polymorphism in Japanese eels Anguilla japonica in relation to differences of somatic growth in freshwater and brackish habitats. Journal of Fish Biology 82, 1308-1320
  26. Kaifu K, Miyazaki S, Aoyama J, Kimura S, Tsukamoto K (2013) Diet of Japanese eels Anguilla japonica in the Kojima Bay-Asahi River system, Japan. Environmental Biology of Fishes 96, 439-446
  27. Kaifu K, Miller MJ, Yada T, Aoyama J, Washitani I, Tsukamoto K (2013) Growth differences of Japanese eels Anguilla japonicabetween fresh and brackish water habitats in relation to annual food consumption in the Kojima Bay-Asahi River system, Japan. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 22, 127-136
  28. Kaifu K, Akamatsu T, Segawa S (2011) Preliminary evaluation of underwater sound detection by the cephalopod statocyst using a forced oscillation model. Acoustical Science and Technology, 32, 255-260
  29. Kaifu K, Tamura M, Aoyama J, Tsukamoto K (2010) Dispersal of yellow phase Japanese eels Anguilla japonica after recruitment in the Kojima Bay-Asahi River system, Japan. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 88, 273-282
  30. Yokouchi K, Sudo R, Kaifu K, Aoyama J, Tsukamoto K (2009) Biological characteristics of silver-phase Japanese eels, Anguilla japonica, collected from Hamana Lake, Japan. Coastal Marine Science, 33, 54-63
  31. Kaifu K, Akamatsu T, Segawa S (2008) Underwater sound detection by cephalopod statocyst. Fisheries Science, 74, 781-786
  32. Kaifu K, Segawa S, Tsuchiya K (2007) Behavioral responses to underwater sound in the small benthic octopus Octopus ocellatus.The Journal of Marin Acoustical Society of Japan, 34, 266-273