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maximum 3 meters


up to 55 kilograms


gray-black with a light belly


up to 19 years


benthic fish (including dogfish!), crustaceans and cuttlefish


predator fish


lays eggs
maturity: age 5-15 years
number: several million eggs

  • Dut: Congeraal (Kommeraal, Longer, Zee-aal, Zeepaling)
  • Lat: Conger conger
  • Eng: Conger
  • Ger: Meeraal
  • Fren: Congre
  • Dan: Havil
Conger, Ecomare


The conger is also called a sea eel. Contrary to true eel, congers only live in sea water. They can reach up to three meters in length. Divers usually only see their head because they are often hiding between stones or in ship wrecks. It's not a good idea to pat a conger. They have very sharp teeth. There are stories of scuba divers that were swept for several meters by raging congers.

  • Maturity

    The larva stage for congers lasts one to two years. During this time, the transparent larvae live in all water layers except just above the sea floor. The sea currents can carry them over large distances. The larvae are then totally transparent; you can look right through them. They only get a color later on.

  • Catch reports since March 1995
    DatePlace of catchLength and weightShip
    March 1995 Sandettie Bank 2.5 meter, 45 kilogram ARM 7
    March 1996 50 mile NW Den Helder 2.8 meter, 35 kilogram HD 38
    spring 1997 Scharrebank 2.1 meter, 48 kilogram GO 56
    May 1997 Wellbank 2.1 meter, 35 kilogram GO 48
    8-12-1997 50 mile east of Brixham 2.5 meter BM 361
    1998 alive on the beach of Ameland    
    January 1999 English Channel unknown Z 35
    January 1999 The English Channel unknown Z 35
    16-1-1999 washed ashore dead, Walcheren 1.5 meter, 10 kilogram  
    November 1999 unknown 2.1 meter, 38 kilogram UK 95
    17-1-2003 washed ashore dying, Texel 1.65 meters, 20 kilogram  


  • Fisheries

    Congers are not commercially interesting for fishermen. Nevertheless, one is sometimes caught and sold. They are much more popular among sport fishermen and divers with harpoons because they are large and can defend themselves bravely.

  • Distribution of conger
    Distribution of congers, Ecomare

    Congers live particularly along rocky coasts. Other places with lots of hiding places, such as wrecks, are also popular. They are found along the coasts of the northern Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Every once in awhile, they are also found along the Dutch coast. Normally speaking, they don't live deeper than 500 meters. However, they spawn at depths between 3000 and 4000 meters.