The Sand Eel
Did you know that Sand Eels are not Eels at all?
They are actually one of a big family of distinctively slender, small FISH with pointy snouts – giving them an eel like appearance.
Between April and September they swim in large shoals close to the seabed and will burrow into the sand to escape predators.
During the winter months they bury themselves up to 50cm down in the sand.
They are an incredibly vital part of the marine eco system and are the favourite food for many of our most popular seabirds such as Puffins, Kittiwakes, Guillemots, Razorbills, Auks and Terns. The fledging success of these sea birds is entirely dependent on the supply of Sand Eels.
The population of Sand Eels is volatile, dependent on the quantity of plankton, and this is affected by rising sea temperatures from global warming. Apart from this Sand Eels are now being fished by commercial fishing boats which hoover them up from the sea bed and process them as animal feed, robbing our Razorbills, Puffins, Kittiwakes, Auks and Terns of food, leaving them hungry, if not starving, simply to feed agricultural animals