The freshwater eels, the Anguillids, have increasingly become the focus of attention for fisheries managers, scientists, researchers, policy makers, conservation bodies and other stakeholders. These species can be seen as a bellwether for issues affecting aquatic ecosystems – their steep decline and the management initiatives to try and reverse this trend, touch on subjects as diverse as disconnected waterways, loss of habitat, novel parasites, pollution, over-fishing and climate change. There are some 16 species of the Anguilla genus and all exhibit similar lifestyles, growing in waters often far-removed from their marine spawning grounds. These enigmatic, contradictory and confounding species share similar challenges and pressures wherever they are found.
Eels: Biology, Monitoring, Management, Culture and Exploitation was generated from the 1st UK International Eel Science Symposium which was held at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) in June 2017. Hosted by the Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM), the ZSL, and the Environment Agency (EA), the Symposium was heralded as a success, with over 180 delegates in attendance. Many of the world's top eel specialists attended or gave presentations across a diverse range of subjects.
This was one of the Symposium's, and now the book's great strengths – its diversity of subjects and authors. Many countries are represented within the book, from across Europe and as far afield as New Zealand, South Africa, Vanuatu, French Polynesia, Japan, Canada and the USA.
The EA and IFM have collaborated to produce this landmark book which includes a mix of cultural, scientific and management information which will be invaluable to anyone with a professional or personal interest in these mysterious fish, including ichthyologists, fisheries scientists and managers, aquaculture personnel, environmental biologists and ecologists, marine and freshwater biologists, vertebrate zoologists, animal behaviourists and students studying in all these areas. Libraries in all universities and research establishments where these subjects are studied and taught should have copies on their shelves.
I European eel, a local history
1. Eel memories from the Somerset Levels
2. Smoked eel - was originally not a delicacy! The history of smoked eel in Amsterdam and the rest of the world
II Species and regions
3. Distribution and conservation status of tropical eels
4. Distribution, ecology and status of anguillid eels in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean
5. The management, fishery, and stock status of American eel along the US Atlantic coast
III Research and management
6. Excerpts from `Eels on the move - mysterious creatures over millions of years'
7. Growth, maturation, sex-ratio, length and age of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) in the Netherlands
8. Does a bigger glass eel mean better recruitment?
9. Insight into Japanese eel divergence into sea-estuaries and rivers
10. Behavioural patterns of migrating silver eel at a hydropower station on the River Meus
11. The chemical marking of eels - state of the art and application perspectives
12. Estimation of downstream migrating Irish silver-phase eel Anguilla anguilla populations by removal sampling
13. Impacts on European eels (Anguilla aguilla) at a Norwegian hydropower site: how operational changes can influence outcomes
14. New Zealand tuna (freshwater eels): Maori-driven management practices - past, present and future
15. Understanding eel behaviour to improve protection and passage at pumping stations
16. Understanding eel behaviour to improve their protection and passage at river structures
IV Eel health
17. Major eel diseases in Europe: the past 30 years
18. Eel toxicology: a review of exposure to trace elements and results of research on mother-egg transfer, accumulation and effect
19. Parasite assemblages of European eels in Irish freshwater, mixohaline and marine habitats
20. Silver service: a standard protocol for eel health examinations
21. Captive breeding of the European eel: Italian review
22. European eel - an integrated approach to establish eel hatchery technology in Denmark
23. Global Exploitation of freshwater eels (genus Anguilla) fisheries, stock status and illegal trade
Andy Don has worked in Fisheries teams in the Environment Agency and its predecessors for almost 30 years. During that time both his Area and National roles have found him observing, appreciating, protecting and trying to understand the confounding animals that are the freshwater eels. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Fisheries Management and uses the Institute as a forum to raise awareness of Anguillid research and management.
Paul Coulson has worked with fish and fisheries all of his professional life and is currently the Director of Operations at the Institute of Fisheries Management in the UK. Paul grew up fishing the ponds, drains and rivers of East Yorkshire, all of which held a good, but declining, population of eels. This early introduction to the species sparked an interest that has never left him.