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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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Tagged eel released off Gaua Island, Vanuatu Photo: Robert Schabetsberger

Chang YLK, Dall’Olmo G, Schabetsberger R


Tracking the marine migration routes of South Pacific silver eels


It is still a mystery how catadromous eels find their way through the seemingly featureless open ocean to their spawning areas. Pacific eels from the Archipelago of Vanuatu carried satellite tags all the way to their presumed spawning area 870 km northwest of the point of release. Chang and co-workers used the pronounced diel vertical movements of eels to estimate their geographical positions. Two A. marmorata exhibited extended zig-zag migration paths, while one A. megastoma took a straight course. They headed towards a tongue of high-salinity Subtropical Underwater that may have provided cues for orientation.


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