Definition of sand eel in US English:

sand eel


  • A small elongated marine fish which lives in shallow waters of the northern hemisphere, often found burrowing in the sand.

    Family Ammodytidae: several genera and species, including the European Ammodytes tobianus

    • ‘Over-fishing of the birds' primary food source, the sand eel, is being blamed for the huge fall in numbers from 83,000 kittiwake 13 years ago to roughly 49,000 at present.’
    • ‘The sand eels - which support the marine food chain from cod and mackerel to kittiwakes - are mainly hoovered up by the Danes, who use their oil to power electricity-producing generators, while the remains go into agricultural feeds.’
    • ‘As the sand eel fleet fishes entirely for industrial purposes, none of the fish will be consumed by humans and thousands of tonnes of white fish is being reduced to fish-meal on a daily basis, adding to the ongoing cod crisis in the North Sea.’
    • ‘Under the plans which have been submitted to the EU, the Danes and Norwegians will be allowed to catch cod, whiting and haddock accidentally while fishing for sand eels which are processed and used for animal feed and fertiliser.’
    • ‘This unprecedented nesting failure is caused by starvation from the overnight disappearance of the small silvery sand eels the birds feed on.’
    • ‘Ices will also recommend zero hake catch in southern Biscay, a 55% reduction in plaice fishing and a 40% reduction of sand eel in the North Sea.’
    • ‘In Dorset, mackerel usually arrive in June, as they chase the sand eels and whitebait inshore, sometimes chasing them right up onto the beach.’
    • ‘If the water is clear enough, try fly fishing for them with any fly that imitates something small and silvery like an elver or sand eel or small fish.’
    • ‘The big fish are mostly taking either live sand eel or crab with most of the small fish being landed on spinners and plugs.’
    • ‘Other reasons for less salmon include Russian submarines breaking up and releasing radiation, industrial farming by Denmark for sand eels, and the proliferation of seals.’
    • ‘When chasing bass I would always want a few Clousers minnows in various colours especially chartreuse and white, some Lefty Kreh Deceivers, and a few sand eel patterns and poppers.’
    • ‘Terns skipped along on the breeze, pausing to hover over the shallows and occasionally to dive, emerging sometimes with a silver flash of sand eel in their beaks.’
    • ‘The crabs, which are natural scavengers, are being fed with dead sand eels and sprats in their tanks at Oceanworld, which is set to be their home for the immediate future as it offers them more protection than the wild.’
    • ‘Regarding flies, the sea trout you are hunting is a highly efficient ocean predator used to chasing sand eel, smaller fish fry and crustacea.’
    • ‘That is why the Scottish Fishermen's Federation is suggesting a 70% cut in the sand eel quota.’
    • ‘Wild fish caught for farm feed include herring, mackerel, sand eels and anchovies.’
    • ‘He credits only the Danes for supporting Britain, though the end result did little harm to the main Danish interest in preserving an industrial fishery for sand eels, which is thought to harm North Sea cod stocks.’
    • ‘Another source of anger is that there have been no moves to reduce industrial fishing, the so-called ‘pariah of the North Sea’ which hoovers up vast quantities of sand eels as well as mature and immature fish.’
    • ‘‘We're right over it,’ comes the shout from the wheelhouse, and our sand eels are soon plunging down into the depths.’
    • ‘While it's too early to tell this year, he said, sand eel populations are low again so far.’


sand eel

/ˈsand ˌēl/