Mapping silver eel migration routes in the North Sea

Pieterjan Verhelst, Jan Reubens, Johan Coeck, Tom Moens, Janek Simon, Jeroen Van Wichelen, Håkan Westerberg, Klaus Wysujack, David Righton

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftA1: Web of Science-artikelpeer review


Recent developments in tracking technology resulted in the mapping of various marine spawning migration routes of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla). However, migration routes in the North Sea have rarely been studied, despite many large European rivers and hence potential eel growing habitat discharge into the North Sea. In this study, we present the most comprehensive map to date with migration routes by silver European eels in the North Sea and document for the first time successful eel migration through the English Channel. Migration tracks were reconstructed for 42 eels tagged in Belgium and 12 in Germany. Additionally, some eels moved up north to exit the North Sea over the British Isles, confirming the existence of two different routes, even for eels exiting from a single river catchment. Furthermore, we observed a wide range in migration speeds (6.8–45.2 km day−1). We hypothesize that these are likely attributed to water currents, with eels migrating through the English Channel being significantly faster than eels migrating northward.
Oorspronkelijke taalEngels
TijdschriftScientific Reports
PublicatiestatusGepubliceerd - 10-jan-2022

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