Reproduction of European eel: towards a sustained aquaculture
European Commission: Collaborative Research Project PRO-EEL
7th PCRD Programme "Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, and Biotechnology" KBBE-2009-1-2-13, n° 245257
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. PRO-EEL is an international research project supported financially by the European Commission.
The objective of the project is 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 focus 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 include establishment of suitable larval rearing conditions and identification of initial feed needed to establish feeding cultures of European eel larvae.
The consortium includes 15 partners comprising European research institutes and industry partners as well as an international collaboration partner country (ICPC).
Sylvie Dufour is member of the steering committee with Anne-Gaelle Lafont, post-doc PRO-EEL, as deputy member; our team coordinates the participation of scientists from three CNRS Research Units (BOREA, Paris; PERC, Nouzilly) and is responsible of Work Package 4 "Neuro-endocrine function and novel treatments for maturation" and of several tasks in the other WPs.
Coordinator: Dr Jonna Tomkievicz, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark