11 August 2018

TIDAL PARKS: The Eel is back!

Nature with special plants and animals that live in and around the Nieuwe Maas river illustrate the significance of the delta, where the river meets the sea. The effect of the high tide and low tide  creates tidal nature along the riverbank with animals and plants that are associated with this habitat. The River as a Tidal Park aims to enable Rotterdam locals to experience this tidal nature and organises walks at different tidal parks in the Rotterdam region. The eel is a key element of this fourth part.

Life cycle
The eels in the Nieuwe Maas breed in the Sargasso Sea, 6,000 km away. During a period of between one and three years, larvae that emerge from the eggs, are carried to our coast on the ocean current. On the way they develop into ‘glass eels’, tiny eels around 7 cm long. Attracted by the fresh lure flow of the river the glass eels swim into the river and continue to grow in the fresh water. Eels can live to a ripe old age; the oldest eel in the Netherlands was a record 88 years old.

The water in Nassauhaven is monitored on a regular basis. Both young and old eels have been found there. This means they feel right at home in Nassauhaven. Soon this will be improved further, when the rocky riverbank is transformed into a green oasis of riverbank and water plants, where glass eels and adult eels can find food and shelter. Nassauhaven offers them a safe and pleasant home port today and will continue to do so in the future.

The River as a Tidal Park involves 16 partner organisations that work together to give tidal nature a boost. The tidal parks are partly made possible by LIFE funding from the EU. Want to know more? www.rotterdam.nl/getijdenparken