The various species of eels (Anguilla spp.) have similar brain locations. Eels may survive for some time in ice slurrys so to maximise their eating qualities they should be killed first by a firm knock to the head and or a knock to the head followed by iki jime before placing them into an ice slurry after bleeding.
- Snake-like body with a small head, jaws reaching below the rear of the eye or beyond. Body colouration golden to olive green overall, becoming paler towards the belly, with greenish fins.
- Like other eel species, shortfin eels have an interesting lifecycle that starts with spawning of adults in oceanic waters at discrete deepwater spawning areas. The resulting leptocephalus larvae (or "glass eels") migrate back to rivers and migrate upriver as elvers. Here they grow as juveniles , remaining for many years (possibly up to 50 years in some species) until they mature and return downstream to the ocean as silver eels to complete their life cycle.
- A wide range of human-induced changes to rivers around the world in recent decades (habitat destruction, river regulation) have resulted in many species of freshwater eels being declared as endangered or critically endangered species.
- Freshwater eels (Anguilla spp.) occur in freshwater river systems on all continents. The species pictured here (Anguilla australis) is widespread and still relatively common in coastal river systems and impoundments throughout the western Pacific region, including Tahiti, Fiji, New Zealand, and Australias east coast south to Mt Gambier in South Australia.
- Other similar species include the critically endangered European eel (Anguilla anguilla), the endangered American eel (A. rostrata), the Japanese eel (A. japonica) and the African eel (A. mossambica), amongst others.
Fish Size Common Length:
50 cm (20 inches), maximum length around 90 cm (3 feet). In Australia eels over 100 cm are likely to be longfinned eels (Anguilla reinhardtii), which grow to around 165 cm (5 feet 6 inches) and 22 kg (48 lb).