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Scientist On Quest For Disappearing Eel
By Wendy Heller, December 26, 2007 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Sciencedaily.com

Biology professor Peter Hodson and his team of toxicologists and chemists have received a grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) to solve the mystery of Lake Ontario’s disappearing eel population.

Declared a “species of concern” under Canada’s 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.”

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