When you think of the vast marine biodiversity that exists, whales, sea turtles, dolphins, and tropical fish probably come to mind first. But, one animal that is often overlooked when it comes to thinking about the deep blue and its biodiversity are eels. Eels are actually fish, and the many species come in varying sizes and colors, have unique adaptations, and are found across the world’s oceans.
This is the second in a series of four guest posts by Paul Greenberg, author of the bestselling book, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food.
I recently had the pleasure of reviewing James Prosek's excellent Eels for the New York Times Book Review. An endlessly interesting topic but most relevant for today's oceanic fisheries because of the unseen (and largely fixable) problem eels represent: the useless damming of small rivers around the country and around the world.
Rivers are key to oceans: they allow for energy transfer between freshwater ecosystems and saltwater, and the primary way they do that is through "diadromous" i.e. sea run fish like salmon, herring, shad, and yes, eels.