The availability of an international up-to-date database, compiling eel quality parameters over the distribution area of the European eel is an essential instrument for international stock assessment. It will allow updates of local and stock wide eel quality indices, and will facilitate the integration of eel quality indicators with quantitative data for stock assessment. The international context, future perspectives in eel health assessments and the need of an international database have been discussed in Chapter 8 of the WKPGMEQ report (ICES, 2015).
As such, the EQD (Eel Quality Database) has been initiated by ICES WGEEL (Belpaire et al., 2011) and further developed by Belgium (Research Institute for Nature and Forests, INBO). It allows the compilation of contaminant and disease data in anguillids over the world, combined with relevant habitat parameters. The database is constructed with Local Microsoft Access 2010 (FormBuilder Model PTQ7.15), on a SQL-Server 2008. Its general structure is visualized in Annex 6 of the WKPGMEQ report (ICES, 2015).
The EQD allows currently to include data on morphometrics, weight, length, stage, lipid levels, condition, age, results on contaminants and diseases, as well as a number of descriptors concerning site location (e.g. geo-reference, watershed, water body and typology, anthropogenic pressures, …) and survey descriptors (team, owner, contact, sampling method, date and time of survey, framework, reference to sampling protocol, etc).
However, the long-term management of the EQD needs a structural basis and is currently hampered by insufficient resources. ICES (2009) suggested that the EQD should be managed at an international level (e.g. by ICES Data Center) or some European agency, with long-term funding options and database management expertise. This recommendation was repeated by the WKPGMEQ (ICES, 2015).
Belpaire, C., Geeraerts, C., Evans, D., Ciccotti, E., Poole, R. 2011. The European eel quality database: towards a pan-European monitoring of eel quality. Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 183(1-4): 273-284.
ICES, 2009. Report of the 2009 Session of the Joint EIFAC/ICES Working Group on Eels, FAO European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission; International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, Göteborg, 7–12 September 2009, EIFAC Occasional Paper No. 45, ICES CM 2009/ACOM: 15. Rome, FAO/Copenhagen, ICES. 2010. p. 540 (Online).
ICES, 2015. Report of the Workshop of a Planning Group on the Monitoring of Eel Quality under the subject “Development of standardized and harmonized protocols for the estimation of eel quality” (WKPGMEQ), 20–22 January 2015, Brussels, Belgium. ICES CM 2014/SSGEF:14. 274 pp.