European Eel

Anguilla anguilla

Summary 5

The European Eel is a catadromous species, in that it resides in fresh water and moves into salt water to spawn. It is found in the rivers of scotland and in lochs which drain into the sea. The Eel's spawning grounds are in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda. After spawning, the fertilised eggs drift towards Europe, carried by the Gulf Stream. once the larvae approach coastal waters, they metamorphose into a transparent eel form know as a 'glass eel'. Once in fresh water they feed on fish and invertebrates and grow in size and become darker in colour. Although Eels have not been subject to extensive commercial fishing in Scotland, they are still threatened due to heavy exploitation elsewhere in Europe. Scottish Natural Heritage estimates European Eel populations have declined by 90% in the last two decades.

Sources and Credits

  1. (c) Biopix, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  2. (c) Biopix, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  3. (c) Biopix, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  4. (c) Biopix, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC),
  5. (c) jrpscott, some rights reserved (CC BY-SA)

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