Spawning Migration Of The European Eel: Reproduction Index, A Useful Tool For Conservation Management (Fish & Fisheries Series)
ISBN : 9781402090943
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Spawning Migration of the European Eel: Reproduction index, a useful tool for conservation management (Fish & Fisheries Series)
Freshwater eels are almost infinitely improbable creatures. They spawn and die in the middle of the ocean, often associated with undersea mountains. Their tra- parent, leaf-like larvae move with ocean currents for months or years until they approach the mouths of freshwater rivers. Then they undergo a dramatic transf- mation in morphology, physiology and behavior. They move from their planktonic oceanic environment, migrate upstream and live for several years as apex fre- water predators. Then, almost impossibly, as they become sexually mature, they reverse their migration downstream to the ocean and back to spawning grounds to complete their life cycle. The dramatic changes in their life cycles are incredible. The efforts to unravel the details of their life history have been truly daunting. Much of the past research was the work of dedicated individuals who devoted their lifetime research to these fishes. Freshwater eels merit a separate chapter in almost any textbook dealing with ichthyology, marine biology or animal migration. We know a great deal about some aspects of the biology of freshwater eels. However, our understanding of their bi- ogy still resembles a work of art as much as a work of science. To some it appears like the sweeping brush strokes of a Japanese Zen landscape, to others it resembles the work of a French impressionist, and to still others it appears as magic realism.
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