Reproduction of European Eel in Aquaculture (REEL): Consolidation and new production methods

Jonna Tomkiewicz, Lars Tybjerg, Josianne Støttrup, Fintan McEvoy, Peter Ravn, Sune Riis Sørensen, Peter Lauesen, Christian Graver, Peter Munk, Lars K. Holst, Bjarne Vestbö, Eiliv Svalastoga, Charlotte Jacobsen, Bjørn Holst, Svend Jørgen Steenfeldt, Lene Buelund, Thomas Hornum, Tanja Kofoed

Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch

894 Downloads (Pure)


Project aim: Enhance methods and technology applied to produce and culture European eel larvae as basis for the development of a future self-sustained eel aquaculture.
Background: The severe decline of the European eel stock calls for conservation measures including national eel management plans and establishment of a self-sustained eel aquaculture. In 2005, the National Institute of Aquatic Resources at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU Aqua), the Faculty of Life Sciences at Copenhagen University (KU-Life) and the eel aquaculture industry started to build up a research and technology platform for the development of methods to reproduce European eel in aquaculture. Two major projects: Artificial Reproduction of Eels II and III (ROE II and III) succeeded during 2005-2008 to produce viable eggs and larvae that lived up to 12 days. The larvae thereby accomplished the yolk-sac stage and became ready to start feeding. The results were in particular promising because they evidenced that methods successfully applied to Japanese eel has a potential for application also to the European eel. ROE II and III were supported by the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and the European Commission through the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG) and the Danish Food Research Program 2006, respectively. Results: The REEL project accomplished through three series of experiments to consolidate previous results. The longevity of larvae was extended from 12 to 20 days after hatch in first feeding experiments thereby entering the leptocephalus phase. Maturation potential and methods to induce maturation were further tested, and farmed and wild eel broodstocks as well as different treatments were compared. In particular, fertilisation procedures to produce fertilised eggs and embryos and monitoring techniques were enhanced. The technology needed to culture embryos and larvae was substantially improved. The potential for new hormonal treatments was explored and recombinant eel hormones have been produced. New broodstock diets were developed with focus on the lipid composition essential for development and survival of fish larvae. In addition, the experimental facility established by DTU Aqua at Lyksvad Fish Farm was enhanced by improving the experimental and laboratory facilities. The REEL project provided the basis for the establishment of an EU collaborative research project: Reproduction of European Eel: Towards a Self-sustained Aquaculture (PRO-EEL) coordinated by DTU Aqua. REEL included the partners DTU Aqua, KU-Life, Danish Eel Farmers Association (DEFA), Billund Aquaculture Service (BA), BioMar, and Bioneer of which four are integrated in the PRO-EEL project that in total has 15 international partners
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCharlottenlund
PublisherDTU Aqua
Number of pages47
ISBN (Print)978-87-7481-151-0
ISBN (Electronic)978-87-7481-154-1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
SeriesDTU Aqua-rapport

Note re. dissertation

Projektet blev finansieret af DTU Aqua og Ministeriet for Fødevarer, Landbrug og Fiskeri via LAG Fyn gennem Den Europæiske Fiskerifond: Danmark og EU investerer i bæredygtigt fiskeri og akvakultur


Dive into the research topics of 'Reproduction of European Eel in Aquaculture (REEL): Consolidation and new production methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this