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Eels can be found all over the globe, in fresh and salt water ecosystems alike. But today, risk of over-fishing and the presence of dams and other obstacles that prevent eels from reaching their oceanic spawning grounds pose new threats to an animal that once roamed the planet alongside the dinosaurs. Artist, writer, and naturalist James Prosek explores the mysterious world of the eel.
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Inspired by the Japanese art form Gyotaku, a type of Japanese fish printing popularized in the mid-1800s, artist and naturalist James Prosek created a series of pieces in the gyotaku style. But instead of using the traditional large-scaled carp to make his nature prints, Prosek decided to use a rather unusual fish as his creative tool, the eel.
The Eel Project trains students and community members to monitor New York's wild eel populations. Volunteers record data on the eels before releasing them above nearby dams and other barriers. Chris Bowser, who heads the project, works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Estuary Program and Research Reserve, in partnership with Cornell's Water Resource Institute.
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