The Sargasso Sea is the only place in the world where adult American eels actually migrate to breed. Researchers learned this after more than a century of speculation. Researchers from Université Laval and Fisheries and Oceans Canada who are working with Professor Julian Dodson report that they have tracked 28 eels fitted with satellite transmitters and established the migratory route of this species. In the course of its 2,400-km journey, one of these fish reached the northernmost side of the Sargasso Sea, the presumed breeding grounds for this species. You can read more details in Nature Communications’ latest issue.
Professor Dodson of Laval University explained, “Eel larvae have been found in the Sargasso Sea since 1904, suggesting that the species reproduced here, but no adults had ever been found here. This discovery puts an end to more than a hundred years of speculation.” Scientists have tried numerous times to capture eels at their mysterious gathering site, but they have not succeeded, but the recent development of sophisticated satellite transmitters has opened up new possibilities. The transmitters were affixed by Julius Dodson and his team to 22 eels captured in Nova Scotia and 16 eels collected from the Estuary of the St. Lawrence. Twenty-eight of these transmitters resurfaced in different parts of the Atlantic and transmitted the data they had recorded in the subsequent weeks.