Eels and the Saragasso

This is one that I have heard from several reliable sources but I still can’t seem to believe.

Is it really true that all eels are born in the Saragasso sea? This is a large floating seaweed mass in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Ok, all the Eastern American and European eels go to the Saragasso Sea to mate, that I can accept, but what about all the eels in the Indian and Pacific Oceans? Do they seriously swim all the way around the world to breed?

BTW my source is my uncle who ran a fishing research institute.

What’s the ugliest part of your body?
Some say your nose, some say your toes,
But I think it’s your Mind - Frank Zappa

Here’s what I know, but the info is from ten years ago. The eel in question, Anguilla sp. is known to breed in the Sargasso Sea in the southwestern Atlantic. We know this because we find lots of larvae swimming around the Atlantic, and if you plot the gradient, they come from there. No one has ever (at least 10yrs ago) found an adult eel swimming their way TO the SS to mate. But obviously, they must. This lifestyle: adulthood in fresh water, breeding in the sea has a name which escapes me at the moment (college bio was even more then ten yrs ago). It is the opposite of what Salmon do, obviously.
The adult eels are found in rivers in North America and Europe. They seem to be two distinct species; at least, genetically, the succeeding generations in both continents seem to have come from the preceeding generation, and not a mix. But both larvae spread out from the SS.
This species is quite fascinating, and commercially important, too, at least in Europe. At one time, this fish was a dietary mainstay in parts of England, that I know of, and probably other places as well.

As far as the IO and Pacific, I’m not sure. Either there are no members of this genus in those oceans, or they have their own equivalent of the SS in which they mate. Sorry, that’s all I know off the top of my head.

APB: you’re thinking of anadromous and catadromous.

FloChi: According to the New American Desk Encyclopedia, the Sargasso Sea is of special interest as the spawning ground of American eels, many of whose offspring drift across the Atlantic to form the European eel population. When you look up “eels” in the same reference book, it says that American and European freshwater eels spawn there.

Ok, I know about the American and European eels being basically the same and coming from the Saragasso, but does anyone know about the Indian and Pacific ocean eels? Not meaning to sound petulant in any way.

The other anguillidae species also breed in the oceans and migrate back to fresh water as adults. The North American and European variety use the Sargasso Sea and seem to travel using the Gulf Stream. The other 14 or so species do not have as well defined (or discovered) breeding areas. The species that live along the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific use areas of those oceans conveinient to their native rivers.

Dr. Fidelius, Charlatan
Associate Curator Anomalous Paleontology, Miskatonic University
“You cannot reason a man out of a position that he did not reach through reason.”

ok, thanks Dr Fidelius. I thought there was something fishy about all species going to the Saragasso.