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Assessing the dynamics of the European eel stock along the Swedish west coast

Andersson, Jan; Wickström, Håkan; Bryhn, Andreas; Magnusson, Katarina; Odelström, Anne; Dekker, Willem


The stock of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) has been at a critical state for the last decades, prompting strict conservation measures. This study investigates local stock dynamics along the Swedish west coast where fishing was banned in 2012. The local stock is truly marine, which is quite unique for the species. Results of ongoing monitoring programmes are presented, and options for the assessment of the status of the stock are discussed. Results show contradictory trends over time: recruitment followed the general downward trend found throughout Europe. Catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) for eels < 37 cm appears to decrease over time, while CPUE for size-classes > 49 cm tends to increase, especially since after the fishing ban. In the absence of information on essential processes – in particular the migration into and out of the area – it is currently impossible to assess the status of the local stock (abundance, impacts), but continued monitoring will provide indicators for the further recovery of the stock after the fishing ban.


European eel, Anguilla anguilla, marine, stock assessment, west coast

Publicerad i

Aqua reports
2019, nummer: 2019:17
eISBN: 978-91-576-9693-9
Utgivare: Department of Aquatic Resources, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences