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  European Commission   > Research > Key Action 5
 
index by sub-area 5.1.2. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture
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Estimation of the reproduction capacity of the European eel *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-01836
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date:
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 2,168,600 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,500,000 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.2. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture

Abstract:
The population of the European eel is threatened and eel management is handicapped because a sufficiently large scientific basis is lacking. The reason for the decline of the eel stocks is unknown but current hypotheses involve pollution, habitat degradation, over-fishing, parasite infection, and climatic variations. The European eel is of considerable economic value for fisheries as well as for aquaculture. Apart from that, the eel is an important component of coastal and inland aquatic ecosystems. The decline of the eel population is likely to be related to decreased fitness. This reduces the capacity of silver eel to swim the 6 000 km to the spawning area, and decreases its capacity to produce viable eggs and larvae. This programme will develop an index for the reproduction fitness of the European eel, which can be used for management recommendations (escapement targets ) and for the development of artificial reproduction.

Objectives:
We will determine suitable parameters indicating the capacity of silver eels to reproduce. As basic knowledge is lacking, it is necessary to determine the performance and reproductive capacity of eels in relation to pollution (PCBs) and parasites. Important aspects are silvering, long-term swimming, high-pressure resistance, ion regulation and maturation. Comparisons will be made between eels from different locations under various pathological conditions. Selected parameters will be used to estimate the reproductive capacity of the European eel. Conclusions will be implemented in recommendations for ecosystems, fisheries management and for the artificial reproduction of the European eel.


Coordinator
Eddy VAN DER MEIJDEN
LEIDEN UNIVERSITY
Leiden
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 71527119
Fax: +31 715274900
E-mail: meijden@rulsfb.leidenuniv.nl


Partners
  Vagn HOLMEGAARD
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHERN DENMARK - ODENSE UNIVERSITY
Odense
DENMARK
Tel.: +45 65502911
Fax: +45 65501090
E-mail: vh@adm.sdu.dk
  Csaba SZEKELY
VETERINARY MEDICAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE, HUNGARIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES
Budapest
HUNGARY
Tel.: +36 14674065
Fax: +36 14674076
E-mail: szekely@vmri.hu
  Jan VAN RIJSINGEN
ROYAAL B.V., PALINGKWEKERIJ
Helmond
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 492533058
Fax: +31 493543829
  Pierre APPRIOU
UNIVERSITE DE BRETAGNE OCCIDENTALE
Brest
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 2 98016003
Fax: +33 2 98017090
E-mail: President@univ-brest.fr
  Patrick LAVARDE
CEMAGREF, CENTRE NATIONAL DU MACHINISME AGRICOLE, DU GÉNIE RURAL, DES ETAUX ET DES FORÊTS
Cestas
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 1 40966147
Fax: +33 1 40966142
E-mail: gerald.cavalier@cemagref.fr
  Jean-Claude MORENO
MUSEUM NATIONAL D'HISTOIRE NATURELLE
Paris
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 1 40793777
Fax: +33 1 40793484
E-mail: dir@mnhn.fr
  André OOSTERLINCK
KATHOLIEKE UNIVERSITEIT LEUVEN
Leuven
BELGIUM
Tel.: +32 16 324066
Fax: +32 16 324198
E-mail: gerard.cielen@doc.kuleuven.ac.be