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#289 European Eel

Critically Endangered

Around the World in 80 Days - Day 80

Well, we've made it around the world. I don't think any of you had a doubt we would. I wish we had run out of animals that fit my criteria, but that won't happen for a long long time. Phileas Fogg won £20,000 which would be worth over $542,000 today.

These animals have a multi-stage life cycle that is very interesting. They start as eggs, then go to a leaf shaped leptocephalus. After that they finally start to look like eels, though barely. They turn into a transparent thin little thing called a glass eel. In my research I saw buckets full of them, and it reminded me of glass noodles with eyes. Unfortunately this stage is much sought after. According to Europol there are 300-350 million smuggled yearly. These normally sell for around $1300/pound. After the tsunami in Japan in 2011 the price for them rose to as much as $2300/lb. They aren't eaten at that size really, instead they are shipped to Asian markets where they are allowed to grow a bit and fatten up before being eaten. As a result their numbers are down to about 1% of what they were back in 1970. After the glass eel stage they still go through an Elver and then Yellow Eel stage. Finally they reach maturity which is the Silver Eel stage for the European Eel. They migrate 3000+ miles to the Sargasso Sea near Bermuda where they spawn and die. Then, the glass eels migrate back again over a year or more going to the freshwater areas of Europe to continue the cycle. They can live up to 80 years or more if they aren't caught by fishermen.

Normally Friday (tomorrow) is my shopping day. I won't be doing it tomorrow though which will probably confuse the guys at the one store I always start at. They recognize me now. I know that one of them has a 91 year old father who for the longest time wasn't able to get in to be vaccinated in spite of desperately wanting to. Last week he said he did finally manage to get vaccinated. I don't know if it was just one or if he's had both. Another one has severe hip trouble and is hoping to get cryotherapy. He hasn't been able to yet. He's in constant pain but remains positive and cheerful all the time. Yet another has been having a lot of bruising. It is probably because of working with all the boxes and bumping into things, but I'm trying to get her to go to the doctor to make sure she's not anemic. I like to get to know anyone I see regularly. The reason I won't be shopping tomorrow is because my oldest son has to go back to the oral surgeon. We took him in today because one of the spots where he had his teeth removed was bothering him more rather than less. He has dry socket. They stuffed some gauze in there but we have to go in tomorrow in the middle of the day to get it fixed. Then, because I had to move shopping anyway, we've scheduled to get our toothless old lady in to the vet. She needs her nails trimmed which is a 3-4 person job. The main reason though is a benign tumour that she's had since about 2016 has suddenly started to grow a bit and is bothering her. So, tomorrow is going to be stressful enough, and I won't have time to shop for everyone until Saturday.

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