He also visits the Micronesian island of Pohnpei, where Anguilla marmorata is sacred, believed to be the islanders' ancestor. Hydroelectric dams pose the greatest danger to adult eels on their migration back to the sea. Artist, writer, and naturalist James Prosek explores the mysterious world of the eel. Very informative episode of the documentary series, Nature. More information on tropical eel species is also needed, as we know even less about them — a new species was even discovered recently in the Philippines Anguilla luzonensis — and different factors will affect their survival.
Nature pioneered a television genre that is now widely emulated in the broadcast industry. Eels can be found all over the globe, in fresh and salt water ecosystems alike. It's like having a great book read to you by someone using one of those horrid throat microphones. Here are some facts about the freshwater eel that might surprise you. They spawn in remote and nutrient-poor places in the seas, and no human has ever seen one reproduce in the wild. Eels are the only fish that spawn in the middle of the ocean, but spend their adult lives in freshwater, the opposite of most migratory fishes, like salmon and shad; and they are a multibillion dollar business. Aside from these fearsome qualities, we know little about its life — where it goes, what it does and how it dies.
Consider the eel: snakelike, slimy, with a row of jagged teeth. It provides a convincing argument that eels should be preserved because of their unique life cycle, and their economic and cultural importance. The glass eels are shipped to China where they are raised to maturity in farms and distributed around the world. Large road projects have been diverted to avoid areas populated by taniwha, or special guardian eels. Eels are coveted by the Japanese, sacred in New Zealand, and making people millionaires in Maine. Find us on and , or.
According to Prosek, who wrote and narrates the program, his introduction to the slimy, muscular fish occurred when fishing as a boy in the ponds and rivers of Connecticut. It's a shame that the narration is so distracting, because the subject matter is important. But conservationists, including the Maori, are trapping eels and releasing them downstream of the dams so many can reach the ocean and spawn. Still, the mystery of where eels spawn in the ocean and how to capture that sight remains unsolved despite repeated attempts by scientists. To the Maori in New Zealand, the eel is a symbol of nature which they equate with their culture. According to Prosek, who wrote and narrates the program, his introduction to the slimy, muscular fish occurred when fishing as a boy in the ponds and rivers of Connecticut. But instead of using the traditional large-scaled carp to make his art, Prosek decided to use a rather unusual fish as his creative tool: the eel.
Prosek is most likely a wonderful person and I mean no disrespect, but he sounds way too normal and his voice isn't really a good one for narration. See more from There are some things in nature we just don't understand, and this creature is one of them. Worth seeing but a bit flat. To the Maori in New Zealand, the eel is a symbol of nature which they equate with their culture. Kind of ruined the idea that he respects them. I knew almost nothing about eels before I saw this, and felt like I knew just about everything when it was over.
But conservationists, including the Maori, are trapping eels and releasing them downstream of the dams so many can reach the ocean and spawn. Many are caught in early spring as they make their way upstream from the sea. Prosek's book stops short of capturing these emerging results. Other research has revealed the diet of newly hatched eel larvae called leptocephali and suggested alternative larval migration routes for European eels other than the North Atlantic drift current. Thank you for visiting nature. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer.
Eels have been a source of fascination to writer, artist and conservationist James Prosek since childhood. They also operate eel farms, but Prosek discovered that 80% of the eels eaten in Japan come from glass eels raised in China. These factors, and our lack of knowledge about key stages of the eel life cycle, make population management problematic. Recent papers have described captures of Japanese eels that have spawned, showing that they do so in tropical ocean frontal zones, a mixing zone between warm and cold oceanic waters. For Nature, Fred Kaufman is executive producer.
Delaware River, Hancock, New York. Eels can be found all over the globe, in fresh and salt water ecosystems alike. Nature has won almost 700 honors from the television industry, the international wildlife film communities, and environmental organizations, including 11 Emmys, three Peabodys and the first award given to a television program by the Sierra Club. But when an old game warden explained that they were born thousands of miles away in the Sargasso Sea, somewhere in the Bermuda Triangle, Prosek became hooked and determined to learn as much he could about the mysterious creatures. Turner rebuilds his weir by hand every year and makes a living selling smoked eels and other fish.
Only by assessing survival rates can we focus remedial action on the most important life stages. Prosek lists contributors to their decline: loss of habitat, dams, fishing, introduction of parasites, pollutants and changes in ocean currents. Your browser does not support this object. . The Mystery of Eels Passport Season 31 Episode 10 52m 59s Eels can be found all over the globe, in fresh and salt water ecosystems alike. James Prosek wrote and narrates this documentary about a very interesting and unfairly maligned creature, the eel. The difficulty of tracking small animals over vast distances is immense — attached telemetry devices that measure and transmit data are currently the only feasible method of following adult eels across the ocean.