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In 1963 at the age of 8, I stayed in Porth Dafarch with my family. I clearly remember paddling in the sea which was seething and almost solid with young silver elvers. Just dipping a bucket in for a second or two resulted in a wriggling mass of the creatures being caught.

I remember being told that they were Common Eels, and as far as I can remember they were too thin to be Sand-Eels – indeed they were being referred to by adults as “boot-laces”. If they were Common Eel elvers, no-one at the time could have foreseen just how vulnerable and threatened a species they were to become. Even if Sand-Eels, their fortunes have diminished somewhat since those days.

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