Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom

Research Article

The Distribution and Diet of the Dominant, Slope-Dwelling Eel, Synaphobranchus Kaupi, of the Rockall Trough

J.D.M. Gordona1 and J. Mauchlinea1

a1 Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory, PO Box 3, Oban, Argyll, Scotland, PA34 4AD


The deep-sea eel, Synaphobranchus kaupi, is widely distributed on the continental slopes of the North Atlantic (Saldanha & Bauchot, 1986; Haedrich & Merrett, 1988). It was a dominant fish species in epibenthic sledge and semi-balloon otter trawl (OTSB) hauls on the West African slope (Merrett & Marshall, 1981; Merrett & Domanski, 1985). Also in the eastern North Atlantic, it was the most abundant species on the slopes of the Porcupine Sea Bight off south-west Ireland (Merrett et al., 1991; Priede et al., 1994). In the western North Atlantic, it was the dominant species on the middle and lower slopes of the Middle Atlantic States of the USA and on the upper slopes of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland (Sedberry & Musick, 1978; Houston & Haedrich, 1986).