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Eels on the move

Study tracks the fish for the first 1,300 kilometers of their migration

3:36pm, September 24, 2009

European eels really take the plunge when they embark on their 5,000-kilometer migration to the Sargasso Sea. Data from eels outfitted with pop-up satellite tags suggest that the slender fish spend the daytime hours of the journey well below the surface, diving to cool depths between 200 and 1,000 meters, researchers report in the Sept. 25 Science.

The tags allowed researchers to follow 22 eels for the first 1,300 kilometers of their trek from the coast of Ireland to mating grounds near the Bahamas. Understanding the details of the eels’ journey may help to protect this critically endangered species, a favorite of sushi eaters.

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