Conger Eel

conger eel

Conger eel

The monstrous migrating eel can be found off our coasts. Simon King, the brave man, dived to try to meet one of these top predators face-to-face in Autumnwatch 2008.

Did Simon spot a conger eel during the live dive? Find out here.

Species information

In and around the rocky places and shipwrecks of our seas lurks one top predator that every creature on the seabed should be be wary of – the conger eel. This muscular and snake-like monster can reach three metres long and weigh over 50kg. The long and powerful conger with its strong jaw and sharp teeth, will eat almost any seafood it finds, from octopus to crabs to fish. It is most active at night as it leaves its resting place to hunt.

Its smooth, scaleless skin makes it the proverbial slippery customer. The dorsal fin runs the length of its body and the upper jaw extends beyond the lower one. After an amazing migration to the centre of the Atlantic the mature conger eel spawns only once and then dies soon afterwards. The young of the conger eel are called 'straps'.

The conger is most common and widespread in the waters of south and west Britain and the whole of Ireland. It can occasionally be found around any of our coastlines, usually at depths down to 500m or even as low as 4,000m when spawning.

More about this species

Where to see them

  • Shores off the coastline of Britain and Ireland
  • Look to rocky outcrops and shipwrecks
a shrimp

November 2008

That's not a conger eel! Will Simon be able to spot the monstrous conger eel in Poole Harbour?

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Found! One conger eel

Simon's last mission was to spot a conger eel during a live dive, and boy did we find one!

Go to a list of all the Autumnwatch animals

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