Eels and crayfish

Another fish known here in Britain is the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). Like cod and chips, jellied eels are a classic British dish. But jellied eels are so far out of fashion now that I’ve never eaten them or been offered the chance to eat them. If you don’t mind his swearing, and you don’t mind watching slaughter, you might like to see what another celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay says about jellied eels.

A. anguilla has become rare. My fellow blogger petrel41 tells us that British eels are disappearing and that it’s not clear why. Those which are still swimming might be helpful, though. As well as breeding the next eel generation there’s evidence that they eat the American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus). The signal crayfish was introduced into British waters when it escaped from fish farms and it’s now displacing our native white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes).


About argylesock

I wrote a PhD about veterinary parasitology so that's the starting point for this blog. But I'm now branching out into other areas of biology and into popular science writing. I'll write here about science that happens in landscapes, particularly farmland, and about science involving interspecific interactions. Datasets and statistics get my attention. Exactly where this blog will lead? That's a journey that I'm on and I hope you'll come with me.
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6 Responses to Eels and crayfish

  1. Carol Hague says:

    My first job on leaving school was in Woolwich in South London and there were several stalls in the market there which sold jellied eels. I never tried them, even before I became a vegetarian, as I didn’t like the sound of them at all. I wonder if they still sell them there…

    I saw a Tv show more recently called “Ade in Britain” where comedian Ade Edmonson travelled around the country trying various traditional dishes sports and cafts and one segment of that involved a scheme where eel fishermen give up part of their catch to help them grow and breed in an attempt to halt the decline of the species – details of the programme here:-

  2. Emily Imhoff says:

    Those eels have their work cut out for them, eating those signal crayfish! My only experience with eels is when my dad’s friend caught one on a fishing line when he was bored and put a marshmallow on the hook. Crayfish are radically different than marshmallows, thank goodness for generalists, I guess?!

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