Photo/IllutrationSatoshi Matsumae shows a transparent bluegill skeleton specimen in Hirakata, Osaka Prefecture. (Nobutaro Kaji)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

OSAKA--A start-up company here is creating “beauty” from alien species that are reviled in Japan for destroying ecosystems.

Specimen maker Aquatainment Inc., based in Osaka’s Miyakojima Ward, started selling transparent fry of non-native fish at a shop in Tokyo in September on a trial basis.

The fry of bluegill, rosy bitterling and other invasive species were captured by an environmental volunteer group and given to Aquatainment to create specimen prototypes.

The small fish were scaled and gutted, and then chemically treated to remove the color from their flesh and to make their bones appear in vivid hues.

The finished specimens can be examined for educational purposes or used for decoration.

“Once carried to Japan, alien fish species are caught as villains that threaten nature,” said Satoshi Matsumae, 43, president of Aquatainment. “But they are part of nature in their native countries.”

Matsumae, who has participated in volunteer activities to remove alien fish, decided to make the specimens to promote an effective use of the non-native species.

He established Aquatainment in 2010, based on his experience of creating specimens while studying tuna at Kindai University’s Department of Fisheries.

The alien-species specimens will be put on display and sale in events at museums and shopping malls across Japan. They can also be purchased on Aquatainment’s site at (