American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) & European Eel (Anguilla anguilla)

The American Eel (Anguilla rostrata) is a wonderfully peculiar fish with a snake-like body which can reach 4 feet in length. This species is catadromous, meaning they spend most of their lives in fresh water and migrate to the sea to breed. They are common in Eastern North America where they live in rivers, lakes and ponds, feeding on invertebrates, fish, insects and carrion. The closely related European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) leads a similar life in European lakes and rivers. Both species of eel migrate into the Atlantic to breed in the Sargasso Sea.

An eel (Anguilla sp.) in a Bermuda pond

An eel (Anguilla sp.) in a Bermuda pond

The Eel’s profile has been raised recently due to ongoing activities to create a high seas conservation area in the Sargasso Sea, its primary spawning ground. Both the American and European Eel are also proposed for listing under the recently amended Protected Species Act. This listing will ensure their protection in Bermuda’s waters.

If you have seen an eel in Bermuda, please report your sighting to the Department of Conservation Services by emailing conservation@gov.bm

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