Photographer's Note

Well, of course you must have guessed it is not (but I couldn't resist giving it a b-movie title or such...).

Those creatures you see on the photo are eels.

The european eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a fish somewhat similar to a snake. It is a catadromous species, meaning that it spends most of its life in freshwater (rivers, streams etc), but migrates to the open sea in order to spawn.

Despite being a delicacy since ancient times, the eel spawning had been a mystery, since no "young" eels had been caught for centuries. Today, it is believed that all european eels migrate to the Sargasso Sea (the sea adjoining the southeastern coast of the US). There, they spawn and die. The newborn eels are transferred to the european coasts by the Gulf Stream.

A number of factors, probably acting in synergy led to the reduction of european eel populations by ~90% or more in the '70s. These are believed to be overfishing, outbreaks of a parasite of the species, dams and other uses of freshwater environments that led to fragmentation of the species habitat and even natural fluctuations of climatic and oceanic conditions. Thus, the eel today has its own EU Regulation (Reg. No 1100/2007) establishing measures for the recovery of the population.

About the photo: Following the EU legislation, there are releases of eels to the sea in order to continue their spawning voyage (the release aiming for the eels to avoid being caught in the fish barrier traps of the lagoons or other fisheries). Here, I took this photo during one of those releases, when the eels are first "let go" and are still trying to orient themselves. I preferred not to go very close to the fish mainly to give some depth of field and give perspective to the whole scene. I especially liked this particular photo where the fish, despite not being so many, are at the edge of the waterline and give an impression of a swarm (hence the title).

Greetings to all!

Gigidusud, jhm, pajaran, ourania has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Vangelis Tzanatos (Vague) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 0 N: 74] (307)
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  • Date Taken: 2013-02-00
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  • Exposure: f/5.6, 1/160
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  • Date Submitted: 2013-02-11 4:58
Viewed: 1602
Points: 16
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