Inshore Hagfish

Hagfish live in the seabed of shallow waters, and are about 60 cm in length. They are the most primitive group of vertebrates and are the last surviving agnathans, lacking both upper and lower jaw bones. Their eyes have also degenerated. When they feel stressed, they exude slime, which when combined with seawater, turns into gel after absorbing a large amount of water; this is the defense mechanism of the hagfish.
Shimane Prefecture boasts one of the largest catches in Japan, but all of it is exported to South Korea where it is used for food or processed leather crafts.

  • Scientific Name

    Eptatretus burgeri

  • Classification

    Family Myxinidae

  • Distribution

    Southern Japan, Southern Korean Peninsula, Taiwan