ABSTRACT American eel (Anguilla rostrata) recruitment has declined dramatically, in parallel with that of European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Since both species spawn in the Sargasso Sea and migrate as larvae to continental waters, the coincidence in recruitment failure implies an Atlantic‐wide cause, due perhaps to ocean climate. There is indirect evidence that the Gulf Stream has weakened in the 1980s. A slower Gulf Stream could interfere with larval transport and generate observed patterns of declining abundance of American eel only in northern North America and relatively uniform declines of European eel throughout Europe. While specific causes are still unclear, these data indicate a threat to both species and to their commercial fisheries.
Fisheries Oceanography – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 1994
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