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The American Eel: A Fish of Mystery and Sustenance for Humans

Part of the Humanity and the Sea book series (HUMSEA)

Abstract

The American eel, Anguilla rostrata, is, in many ways, a typical anguillid in body shape and size and life cycle (Fig. 11.1), and also in that people who encountered it and needed sustenance always found it to be excellent food. It lives in watersheds adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean from the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico to Atlantic Canada (Fig. 11.2) and it has been caught and eaten by humans in all parts of its range at one time or another. The American eel has been important in the lives of many people historically and still is today, but its importance has been largely unnoticed by many. Probably as much as for any anguillid eel in the world, however, anthropogenic activities and particularly dam-building have reduced the area in which the species once lived (Fig. 11.2).

Keywords

  • Striped Bass
  • Atlantic State Marine Fishery Commission
  • Selective Tidal Stream Transport
  • Small Leptocephali
  • Anguillid Leptocephalus

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Fig. 11.1
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Acknowledgements

Knowledge of the relationships between the American eel and humankind by many others gave the perspective needed for us to write parts of this chapter. In addition, Alex J. Haro provided some of the artwork material, and James Prosek willingly gave both useful information and artwork material.

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Correspondence to Michael J. Miller .

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Miller, M.J., Casselman, J.M. (2014). The American Eel: A Fish of Mystery and Sustenance for Humans. In: Tsukamoto, K., Kuroki, M. (eds) Eels and Humans. Humanity and the Sea. Springer, Tokyo. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-4-431-54529-3_11

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