Grisly fact in The Times today, which says that the population of European eels is now at 5% of levels recorded as recently as the 1970s. Given their role in tripping me into environmentalism in the 1950s, the news was particularly shocking. And the story of a tagged eel’s 1,200 odyssey is extraordinary. The data on the recovered tag that had plotted the eel’s journey from Sweden towards the distant Sargasso Sea suggest that it was eventually eaten by a shark west of the Shetlands, then excreted – at which point the tag was probably eaten by a gull and then re-excreted. Finally, it washed up on the shore, where a passer-by found it.