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European Eels in the Atlantic: Assessment of Their Decline (EELIAD)
Start date: 01 Apr 2008, End date: 30 Sep 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

"Eels play an important socioeconomic and ecological role in many European countries. Recruitment failure has contributed to a halving of catches from 40,000t in the last three decades to less than 20,000t today. The EU’s Eel Recovery Plan aims to maximize silver eel production and escapement to the sea to maintain the stock’s reproductive potential. However, very little is known about the contribution of eels of different European river systems to successful recruitment because almost nothing is known about the life of silver eels once they escape to the sea. We propose a research initiative to investigate the ecology and environmental dependencies of European eels during their spawning migration. Archival tags that detach from their eel hosts and communicate stored data via satellite will be used to determine migration routes, migration success and habitat preferences of different stock components. The information will be integrated with studies on eels in riverine and estuarine habitats, and leading edge biochemical techniques, to determine the most important eel habitats to conserve to enhance and conserve eel stocks in the UK and across Europe"
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