Myxine garmani 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Myxini Myxiniformes Myxinidae

Scientific Name: Myxine garmani
Species Authority: Jordan & Snyder, 1901

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2bd ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2009-11-13
Assessor(s): Mincarone, M.M. & Mok, H.-K.
Reviewer(s): Polidoro, B., Knapp, L. & Carpenter, K.E.
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.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is located on the east, southeast, and south coasts of Japan, including Okinawa Trough.
Countries occurrence:
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – northwest
Lower depth limit (metres): 1100
Upper depth limit (metres): 200
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

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.
Current Population Trend: Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented: No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

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
Generation Length (years): 8

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): 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.

Conservation Actions [top]

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.

Classifications [top]

11. Marine Deep Benthic -> 11.1. Marine Deep Benthic - Continental Slope/Bathyl Zone (200-4,000m) -> 11.1.2. Soft Substrate
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.2. Intentional use: (large scale)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.3. Life history & ecology

♦  Wearing apparel, accessories
 Local : ✓   National : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Adam, H. and Strahan, R. 1963. Systematics and geographical distribution of myxinoids. In: A. Brodal and R. Fänge (eds), The biology of Myxine, pp. 588. Universitetsforlaget, Oslo.

Bigelow, H.B. and Schroeder, W.C. 1948. Cyclostomes. In: J. Tee-Van, C.M. Breder, S.F. Hildebrand, A.E. Parr and W.C. Schroeder (eds), Fishes of the western North Atlantic, pp. 29-58. Memoir. Sears Foundation for Marine Research.

Fernholm, B. and Paxton, J.R. 1998. Myxinidae. Hagfishes. In: K.E. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds), The living marine resources of the western Central Pacific. Cephalopods, crustaceans, holothurians and sharks., pp. 1192. Rome.

Gorbman, A., Kobayashi, H., Honma, Y. and Matsuyama, M. 1990. The hagfishery of Japan. Fisheries 15(4): 12-18.

Holly, M. 1933. Cyclostomata. Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, Berlin& Leipzig.

Honma, Y. 1998. Asian hagfishes and their fisheries biology. In: J.M. Jørgensen, J.P. Lomholt, R.E. Weber and H. Malte (eds), The biology of hagfishes, pp. 45-56. Chapman & Hall, London.

IUCN. 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2011.1). Available at: (Accessed: 16 June 2011).

Jordan, D. S. and Snyder, J. O. 1901. A review of the lancelets, hag-fishes, and lampreys of Japan, with a description of two new species. Proceedings of the United States National Museum 23(1233): 725-734.

McMillan, C.B. and Wisner R.L. 2004. Review of the hagfishes (Myxinidae, Myxiniformes) of the northwestern Pacific Ocean, with descriptions of three new species, Eptatretus fernholmi, Paramyxine moki, and P. walkeri. Zoological Studies 43(1): 51-73.

Nakabo, T. 2002. Myxinidae. In: T. Nakabo (ed.), Fishes of Japan with pictorial keys to the species, English edition I., pp. 107-109. Tokai University Press, Tokyo.

Patzner, R.A. 1998. Gonads and reproduction in hagfishes. In: J.M. Jørgensen, J.P. Lomholt, R.E. Weber, and H. Malte (eds), The biology of hagfishes, pp. 378-395. Chapman & Hall, London.

Citation: Mincarone, M.M. & Mok, H.-K. 2013. Myxine garmani. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T196056A8999221. . Downloaded on 29 November 2015.
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