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Eel Anguilla Anguilla

Eels were once a valuable commodity in the Norfolk Broads and Fens. Ely is named after this species and the Lord of the Manor there was once paid an annual rent of 100,000 eels. The River Wensum holds good numbers of eels as do many Broads in Norfolk

Conservation status

Eels have declined across Europe and East Anglia is no exception. Areas such as Salthouse were once famous for their eels and many traditional eel runs were once fished in the Broads. Declines in eel populations have been noted on rivers across Norfolk but the cause is not known. Pollution, over-fishing in the past, parasite infestation, and climate change have all been suggested as possible causes.

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Did you know?

Ely is named after this species and the Lord of the Manor there was once paid an annual rent of 100,000 eels.

All of Norfolk’s eels spawn in the Sargasso sea – their offspring are carried on the Gulf Stream current and look like curled leaves drifting for up to three years before metamorphosing into transparent glass eels.
 

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