Which fish migrates
Which fish migrates from the Rhine to the Caribbean?
The European river eel (Anguilla anguilla). The adult river eels spawn at the beginning of spring in the Caribbean Sargasso Sea, which is densely overgrown with seaweed, at a depth of a few hundred meters and then die.
From the fertilized eggs - a female can lay up to 20 million eggs - transparent, thin willow leaf larvae develop, which from the outside hardly remind of their parents. They feed on plankton and are drifted eastward with the Gulf Stream. After about three years they reach the European coast and transform into yellowish colored glass eels, the shape of which is already reminiscent of the adult eels. They then hike up the Rhine (they "rise") and during this journey they begin to form skin pigment. These so-called Steigaale are true climbing artists who even conquer vertical rocks, such as the Rhine Falls near Schaffhausen.
Depending on their size, they now feed on mussels, snails, worms and small fish. The males usually stay near the coast and grow to a length of a good 50 centimeters. Females can be up to 1.5 meters long and weigh up to six kilograms. After nine to 15 years in fresh water, the eels turn into silver eels with deep black backs and firm, fatty meat.
From now on the animals stop eating and make their way back to the sea. Nothing can hold them back, they even meander through dewy meadows, with a dense capillary system under the skin making it easier for them to absorb oxygen. When, after about a year and a half, they have reached the Sargasso Sea, several thousand kilometers away, and spawn, their life cycle has come to an end.
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