Deep Secrets of the Slippery Eel Discovered

SeaDiscovery.com
Sunday, December 29, 2013
European Eel: Photo credit GEOMAR/J. Schröder

The European eel is one of the world’s many critically endangered species. Comprehensive protection is difficult because many details of the eel’s complex life cycle remain unknown. In a multidisciplinary study, biologists and oceanographers at GEOMAR recently demonstrated the crucial influence of ocean currents on eel recruitment.

Researchers did this by using, among others, a state-of-the-art ocean model developed in Kiel, in combination with genetic studies.

Smoked, fried or boiled - the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) has always been a popular fish in Europe. Even though people have consumed it for millennia, the origin of the eel has long been shrouded in mystery. While the fish spend most of their lives in fresh and coastal waters, spawning and the birth of the larvae take place in the Sargasso Sea in the central Atlantic Ocean, about 4500 km away from the European coastlines.

In a multidisciplinary study recently published in the international journal “Current Biology”, biologists, geneticists and theoretical oceanographers at GEOMAR, together with colleagues from Hamburg, London, Belfast and Antofagasta (Chile), discovered a relationship between ocean currents and the variation in eel recruitment. 


The model simulation was run for 45 years, and in each of these years, the researchers seeded the Sargasso Sea with 8 million tiny drifting particles. “They represent the eel larvae which, for the first few years of their life, mainly drift with the currents,” says biologist Dr. Christophe Eizaguirre from GEOMAR, who initiated the study. External factors, like wind and weather conditions, were the same in the model as the conditions observed in each year from 1960 to 2005. “We were able to track how the larvae migrated to Europe. Only those who reached the European shelf seas within two years were considered viable. This also corresponds to eel life cycle,” explains Dr. Eizaguirre.


The researchers found that small-scale, wind-driven ocean currents strongly determine the eel population fluctuation. Depending on the presence of regional currents in the Sargasso Sea, the larvae’s path to Europe was either extended and led to low recruitment or shortened leading to high recruitment in Europe.

Combining those discoveries with genetic analyses, the scientists found evidence that, contrary to what is typically thought, eels do not return to random locations in the Sargasso Sea to reproduce but rather return to where their mother spawned in particular locations within the Sargasso Sea.

http://www.geomar.de/en/

 

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Long Beach Picketers Not Striking -Port CEO

Port of Long Beach CEO Jon Slangerup issued a statement addressing the status of picketing truckers at the harbor, pointing out that the demonstration is not a strike.

E-Procurement Streamlined via the Cloud

Marine Procurement Solutions (MPS) has built an electronic platform that aims to enhance the purchasing cycle for the maritime industry. MPS provides software,

IMO Forum Aims to Rebuild Somalia's Maritime Sector

A three-day Stakeholders Forum will be held April 27-29 to review draft guidelines for the establishment of a Somalia Maritime Administration, coordinated and funded

Environmental

ExxonMobil Debuts Premium AFME 200

To help shipowners meet strict new emission mandates, ExxonMobil expanded its range of fuels for use within Emission Control Areas (ECA) with the introduction of

Ecochlor BWTS

Ballast water treatment technology developer Ecochlor Inc. presented a project case study at CMA Shipping 2015, a case study which covered the retrofit of Ecochlor’s

GEA UV Ballast Water Treatment

Earlier this year GEA won the first contract for equipping cruise liners with its UV ballast water treatment system, BallastMaster marineX, powered by Trojan Marinex.

Marine Science

Huat Retires as Non-Ex Dir. of ST Engineering

Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd (ST Engineering) today announced the retirement of Mr Quek Poh Huat as non-executive Director of the Company at its Annual General Meeting on 23 April 2015.

GOST System Tracks Stolen Boat in Abacos

GOST (Global Ocean Security Technologies), celebrating its 10th year as a world leader in marine security, tracking, monitoring and video surveillance systems,

ABS Executive Chairs Forum at Sea Asia

ABS Executive Vice President of Corporate Energy Development Ken Richardson says managing Big Data is critical to the future of offshore. (Singapore) ABS,

Software Solutions

BV Upgrades RAM Software

To help offshore operators and contractors get more out of their assets and develop projects more cost-effectively, Bureau Veritas has supercharged its reliability,

Hospital Ship Up to Speed with AMOS

SpecTec will work with Mercy Ships to migrate its current system Business Suite to AMOS Enterprise Management Suite (EMS). Mercy Ships’ Africa Mercy, the world’s largest hospital ship,

SENER Debuts Latest FORAN Release

At  Sinaval-Eurofishing in Bilbao, Spain, Sener will present enhancements in the shipbuilding CAD/CAM system FORAN, in all disciplines (forms, naval architecture and general arrangement,

Ocean Observation

Goliat FPSO in Norway

The Goliat FPSO was successfully floated off the heavy-lift vessel, Dockwise Vanguard, in the fjord outside Hammerfest, says Eni Norge    The Goliat platform has arrived in Hammerfest,

Zim Offers Asia-US east coast service via Suez

Israeli liner carrier Zim Integrated Shipping Services is launching a new service between Asia and the U.S. East Coast via the Suez Canal at the end of May.   The

Gondan Lays Keef for IMR Oceanographic Vessel

Gondan Shipyard has celebrated at its facilities in Figueras the keel laying ceremony of the new Oceanographic Research Vessel for the Institute of Marine Research (IMR) of Bergen, Norway.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2828 sec (4 req/sec)