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Decreasing eel stocks: survival of the fattest?
Belpaire, C.G.J.; Goemans, G.; Geeraerts, C.; Quataert, P.; Parmentier, K.; Hagel, P.; de Boer, J. (2008). Decreasing eel stocks: survival of the fattest?, in: Belpaire, C. (2008). Pollution in eel: a cause of their decline? = Verontreiniging in paling: een oorzaak van zijn achteruitgang?. INBO, M.2008.2: pp. 115-143
In: Belpaire, C. (2008). Pollution in eel: a cause of their decline? = Verontreiniging in paling: een oorzaak van zijn achteruitgang? INBO, M.2008.2. PhD Thesis. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek: Groenendaal. ISBN 978-90-8649-184-1. 459, III annexes pp., more
In: INBO. Instituut voor Natuur- en Bosonderzoek: Brussels, more

Also published as
  • Belpaire, C.G.J.; Goemans, G.; Geeraerts, C.; Quataert, P.; Parmentier, K.; Hagel, P.; de Boer, J. (2009). Decreasing eel stocks: survival of the fattest? Ecol. Freshw. Fish. 18(2): 197-214. dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1600-0633.2008.00337.x, more

Available in Authors 

Keywords
    Contamination; Energy reserves; Fat content; Migrations; Reproduction; Stock depletion; Anguilla anguilla (Linnaeus, 1758) [WoRMS]; Belgium [gazetteer]; Netherlands [gazetteer]; Brackish water; Fresh water
Author keywords
    Anguilla anguilla; fat reserve; stock decline; contamination; migration; reproduction

Authors  Top 
  • Belpaire, C.G.J., more
  • Goemans, G., more
  • Geeraerts, C., more
  • Quataert, P., more
  • Parmentier, K., more
  • Hagel, P.
  • de Boer, J., more

Abstract
    Since the 1980s, the European eel Anguilla anguilla stock is in steep decline. Lipid reserves are essential to cover energetic requirements for silver eel migration and reproduction. Two large and independent data sets from Belgium and The Netherlands show an average one-third decrease in fat contents of yellow eels over the past 15 years. Also Le Cren’s relative condition factor decreased. On the basis of the somatic energy reserves, reproductive potential of eels from various latitudes over Europe was estimated, assuming fat levels in yellow eel are indicative of those in silver eels. Only large individuals, females as well as males, with high lipid content seem to be able to contribute to the spawning stock. The decrease in fat content in yellow eels may be a key element in the stock decline and raises serious concerns about the chances of the stock to recover.

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