Is a European "eel deal" the only way to save this endangered species?

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At the beginning of winter, Atlantic waves bring a new generation of eels from their spawning grounds in the Sargasso Sea to the coast of the Bay of Biscay.

Over a billion glass eels arrive there every year. Andrew Kerr is the chairman of the Sustainable Eel Group (SEG), which works across Europe to help preserve this fascinating species. He describes how the eels manage this incredible journey.

They take the shape of a leaf and float whilst twisting in the current to catch a drift across the Atlantic to go up the freshwater rivers, to put on weight. They can stay in freshwater rivers for 10 to 15 to 20 years and then they make the return journey via the Azores back to the Sargasso sea.

Eel decline

However, something has gone wrong. The European eel population has fallen by 90% in just a few decades.

We follow the fish to find out more.

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