The life cycle of Anguilla anguilla, the Common eel, is one the most extraordinary and mysterious in nature. Previously, much of the eel's life history was completely unknown.
Today, it is believed that eels head to the Sargasso Sea to breed, after which the adults die. After a journey of some 300 days, the young larvae then return to the waterways of Europe. Eels have long been important sources of food, although in 2010, Greenpeace International added the Common (or European) eel to its seafood red list, indicating fish that have a very high risk of being sourced from unsustainable fisheries.
Traditionally, basket traps were laid to catch eels. But there are other means. In The Tin Drum, the method of eel capture is enough for Agnes to throw up her breakfast.
'Funny, macabre, disgusting, blasphemous, pathetic, horrifying, erotic, it is an endless delirium, an outrageous phantasmagoria in which dust from Goethe, Hans Andersen, Swift, Rabelais, Joyce, Aristophanes and Rochester dances on the point of a needle in the flame of a candle that was not worth the game' DAILY TELEGRAPH