Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 183, Issue 1, pp 273–284

The European eel quality database: towards a pan-European monitoring of eel quality

  • Claude Belpaire
  • Caroline Geeraerts
  • Derek Evans
  • Eleonora Ciccotti
  • Russell Poole
Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10661-011-1920-2

Cite this article as:
Belpaire, C., Geeraerts, C., Evans, D. et al. Environ Monit Assess (2011) 183: 273. doi:10.1007/s10661-011-1920-2

Abstract

The stocks of the European eel Anguilla anguilla are in decline and there is an increasing awareness that poor health status due to contaminants and/or diseases might be a key element in this decline and might be a hindrance to recovery. Many countries have started compiling data on the health status of eels in their water bodies. Objectives for these monitoring actions are diverse and there is a large amount of information collected by EU member countries. However, this information is widely scattered over Europe in agencies, institutes or universities. As there is a growing need to collect and report on data on the health status of the eel on international level, the Joint EIFAC/ICES Working Group on Eels initiated in September 2007 the set up of an European Eel Quality Database to collect recent data of contaminants and diseases over the distribution area of the eel. This paper describes the aim, the set up and future development of the database in order to give it greater publicity and to call on scientists or managers to submit data on eel health status. The database represents now the first comprehensive pan-European compilation of eel health data, including data from over 10,000 eels from approximately 1,200 sites over 14 countries. Preliminary work has indicated a number of shortcomings and future developments will be needed. Guaranteeing further development of the database, harmonisation of methods, quality assurance, and setting up harmonised eel monitoring strategies over Europe will be a great challenge and will need pan-European cooperative work.

Keywords

European eelContaminantsDiseasesDatabaseEnvironmental monitoring

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claude Belpaire
    • 1
  • Caroline Geeraerts
    • 1
  • Derek Evans
    • 2
  • Eleonora Ciccotti
    • 3
  • Russell Poole
    • 4
  1. 1.Research Institute for Nature and ForestGroenendaal-HoeilaartBelgium
  2. 2.Agri-Food & Biosciences Institute for Northern IrelandBelfastNorthern Ireland
  3. 3.Department of BiologyUniversity of Rome “Tor Vergata”RomeItaly
  4. 4.Marine Institute, Aquaculture & Catchment Management ServicesCo MayoIreland