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Rare ‘Phantom Fish’ spawns in Northern Japan

HOKKAIDOApril 28 (News about Japan) – In northern Hokkaido, Japan’s largest freshwater fish, the Itou, also known as the ‘phantom fish’, has begun its spawning season and is moving upstream in local rivers.

On April 26, observers using small underwater cameras captured a female using her tail fin to spread pebbles and create a spawning bed, while a brightly colored male in a bright red “wedding dress” repeatedly changed position to encourage spawning.

The Itou, a member of the salmon family, has historically reached lengths of up to 2.1 meters. Today, this species is found exclusively in Hokkaido and is classified as “Critically Endangered IB” on the Ministry of Environment’s Red List, indicating a high risk of extinction. The Itou’s spawning activities highlight not only their ongoing struggle for survival, but also the ongoing efforts to understand and protect this elusive species.

Source: Kyodo

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