Navigation Links
Where have all the lake eels gone? Queen's prof asks
Date:12/14/2007

KINGSTON, Ont. A Queens University environmental scientist will head a new international study to determine whether American eels the slimy, snake-like fish considered worldwide to be a food delicacy are dying from chemical pollution in Lake Ontario.

Biology professor Peter Hodson and his team of toxicologists and chemists have received $536,450 from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to solve the mystery of Lake Ontarios disappearing eel population.

Declared a species of concern under Canadas new Species at Risk Act, American eels have until recently supported a multi-million-dollar historic fishery in Ontario and an even larger industry in Quebec. But with rapidly decreasing numbers of eels, the Ontario fishery has been closed and the Quebec fishery is in serious decline.

A prime suspect in the case of the missing fish is the accumulation of toxic chemicals by the parent eels as they feed, grow, and mature in polluted freshwater lakes and streams, says Dr. Hodson. Our task will be to determine whether female eels transfer sufficient chemicals to their offspring to cause their death before reaching Lake Ontario.

The team hopes to learn whether chemicals have played a role in the decline of the eel, whether some lakes and rivers are better than others for re-stocking with juvenile eels, which chemicals are the bad actors and whether eels pose a hazard to human consumers.

American eels begin their lives as eggs hatching in the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda. They take years to reach freshwater streams where they mature to a length of up to a metre before returning to their birth waters to spawn and die. However, since the mid 1980s there has been a spectacular drop in the numbers of juvenile eels migrating to Lake Ontario from the Sargasso Sea, and a corresponding decline in the numbers of adults.

The loss of eels is significant from an economic, cultural, and ecological perspective, says Dr. Hodson, adding that the impact on other fish species in Lake Ontario of removing a top predator has yet to be recognized.

Most of the harvest of American eels is exported to a global market, particularly to Western Europe and Asia where they are smoked, jellied, marinated, and even served raw as sushi. They are so highly prized that prices are rising as supplies dwindle.

The Queens-led research team will study eels from both clean and polluted habitats, as well as those stored frozen since the 1980s. They will compare the concentrations and toxicity of chemicals in the tissues of eel among different habitats and provide a perspective on past contamination.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nancy Dorrance
nancy.dorrance@queensu.ca
613-533-2869
Queen's University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Easton, PA Police Officers Armed With BIO-key(R) Mobile Data Solution Access Information Anytime, Anywhere
2. Where does stored nuclear waste go?
3. For honey bee queens, multiple mating makes a difference
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/31/2016)... March 31, 2016   ... or the "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to ... its soon to be launched online site for trading ... ) will also provide potential shareholders a sense ... technology to an industry that is notorious for fraud. ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... BOCA RATON, Florida , March 29, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... ("LegacyXChange" or the "Company") LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect ... Synthetic DNA in ink used in a variety of ... preventing theft. Buyers of originally created collectibles from athletes ... authenticity through forensic analysis of the DNA. ...
(Date:3/22/2016)... India , March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... market research report "Electronic Sensors Market for Consumer ... Proximity, & Others), Application (Communication & IT, ... Geography - Global Forecast to 2022", published ... industry is expected to reach USD 26.76 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission ... hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company dedicated to identifying, ... community, has closed its Series A funding round, according ... "We have received a commitment from Forentis Fund ... to meet our current goals," stated Matthew Nunez ... to complete validation on the current projects in our ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Regulatory Compliance Associates® ... provides a free webinar on Performing Quality Investigations: Getting to Root ... CT at no charge. , Incomplete investigations are still a major concern to ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... 22, 2016 Cell Applications, Inc. and ... to produce up to one billion human induced ... one week. These high-quality, consistent stem cells enable ... and spend more time doing meaningful, relevant research. ... high-volume manufacturing process that produces affordable, reliable HiPSC ...
Breaking Biology Technology: