European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and American eel (Anguilla rostrata) both spawn in the Sargasso Sea and it is well established that the spawning grounds of the two species overlap.
In 2006, a study reveals that over ten per cent of the Icelandic eel population was hybrids between the European and American eels. This finding moved the focus on the neighbouring Faroese eel and several scientists abroad were interested to investigate the hypothesis:
-Are European/American hybrids also found in the neighbouring Faroe Islands eel population, or are Faroese eel’s pure Europeans?
During the summer in 2011, I collected gill-tissue from 226 Faroese eel, from five Faroese locations, to use on DNA-analysis.
Analyses, based on among others these samples, shown that no hybrids were observed in the Faroese ells. However, for the Icelandic eels, our survey showed, that most of the Icelandic eels are pure European but there was also an important contribution of individuals of admixed ancestry (10.7%).
The Faroese eel samples are conserved in ethanol and stored in my freezer and are still available for future genetics research project on eels.