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Mohamed bin Zayed Species project number 12252178

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation (Project No. 12252178) - European eel - Awarded $8,000 on July 11, 2012

Several studies have been published on the reduction of European eel stocks. This is due to a lot of factors, as water pollution, overfishing of glass and adult eels Anguillicoloides crassus nematode infection etc. Some studies report that the current stock is one tenth of that in 1980, the juvenile (glass eel) number decreased with 99(!)%. Unless a very determined conservation project helps to save the eel short-term and long-term damaging factors will have a combined effect. The lack of induced spawning method makes the development of stocks even more difficult. All European eels originate form natural spawning. Eel farms only grow glass eels collected from natural sources and the species is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as “critically endangered” fish species. In 2007 the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) listed within the “world's most endangered” animals from extinction.


The aim of the project is to develop an artificial propagation technique of European eel. The specific objective is to produce and rear viable eel larvae by using traditional methods (adaptation of the Japanese propagation protocol for European eel) and new biotechnological methods (using cryopreservated sperm – sperm gene bank).

Project 12252178 location - Hungary, Europe