Reproduction of European Eel
Towards a Self-sustained Aquaculture
 

The PRO-EEL project aimed at breeding European eel (Anguilla anguilla) in captivity. Reproduction of eel in culture has become a focus research area due a severe decline of natural stocks and an increasing interest to breed eels for a self-sustained aquaculture. PRO-EEL was an international research project supported financially by the European Commission.

The objective of the project was to expand the current knowledge on the eel reproduction and develop standardized protocols for production of high quality gametes (egg and sperm), viable embryos and feeding larvae of European eel. Methodology and technology was established using small scale tests and validation in full scale experiments.

The project focused  on the primary bottlenecks in a controlled reproduction of eels, which concern deficiencies in knowledge about their reproductive physiology and treatments applied to induce and finalise gamete development. New methods are needed for a production of viable eggs and larvae from broodstock in a regular and predictable way. Further challenges included establishment of suitable larval rearing conditions and identification of initial feed needed to establish feeding cultures of European eel larvae.

Consortium

The consortium included 15 partners comprising European research institutes and industry partners as well as an international collaboration partner country (ICPC).

PRO-EEL

Project duration 

PRO-EEL started April 2010 and ended March 2015.  

Coordinator

Dr. Jonna Tomkiewicz
National Institute of Aquatic Resources
Technical University of Denmark  
E-mail jt@aqua.dtu.dk
Tel +45 35883408

History and recent dissemination

PRO-EEL set out in 2010 with the aim to enhance the knowledgebase on European eel reproduction and develop the technology needed to produce viable offspring and rear larvae to the first feeding stage. The project ended in December 2014 and was finally reported in March 2015; meanwhile results of PRO-EEL research continue to be published - see Dissemination

Results of the PRO-EEL project were among other presented at Aquaculture Europe 2014 in San Sebastian, Spain, which featured a dedicated eel session chaired by PRO-EEL participants Jonna Tomkiewicz, DTU, and Elin Kjørsvik, NTNU. See Aquaculture Europe 2014 and the winning PRO-EEL AE2014 Best Student Poster.

Aquaculture Europe 2015 (October 20 - 23, 2015, Rotterdam, Netherlands) also included several presentations related to PRO-EEL and eel research in general. See AE2015 program here.

EEL-HATCH-logoLink to continued eel research project

For information about the Danish research, technology and innovation project EEL-HATCH (Eel hatchery technology for a sustainable aquaculture) see www.eel-hatch.dk 

Swimming 19 days old European eel larvae

Curious to see what a young European eel leptochepalus looks like? Watch here swimming behaviour of a 19-days old European eel larvae.

Embryos of European eel ready to hatch

In this film you see embryos of European eel. They are at the time in their life where the embryo has developed and the eggs is ready to hatch. This happens around 48 hours after the fertilization and thus development is quite rapid. 

Newly hatched larvae of European eel

The PRO-EEL project aims at breeding European eel (Anguilla anguilla) in captivity. Reproduction of eel in culture has become a focus research area due a severe decline of natural stocks and an increasing interest to breed eels for a self-sustained aquaculture. 
http://www.pro-eel.eu/
30 MAY 2016