European Eel Anguilla anguilla

European Eel
European Eel
European Eel
The European Eel spends most of its juvenile and adult life in freshwater rivers and ponds of most of Europe and a small part of Asia Minor and North Africa. European Eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea off Florida and the eel's early life (first 2-3 years as a larva) is spent drifting in ocean currents towards Europe.
European Eel
European Eel
As the young reach European river estuaries, they become "glass eels" and later become young "elvers", a mini version of the adult. The snakelike fish typically grows to three-quarters of a metre but can reach well over a metre. They live some 6-20 years in freshwater before returning to the Sargasso Sea to spawn. The European Eel is critically endangered, mainly through overfishing especially of young, the returning young not being able to travel upstream because of man-made obstructions such as dams and also through parasites.