Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Exploring the Challenge of First-Feeding European Eels in Captivity

Exploring the Challenge of First-Feeding European Eels in Captivity

DENMARK – Rearing European eels in captivity throughout their life cycle in a complex task, hampered by our lack of knowledge about several phases of their life cycle. Recently published research has been exploring the challenge of first feeding in captivity.

To initiate first feeding, Dr Ian Butts (Technical University of Denmark) and fellow scientists gave European eel larvae one of five specially tailored diets. Four of the diets used rotifer paste, of which three included additives (one with cod roe, one with octopus juice, and one with live rotifers). The fifth diet consisted of defrosted plankton collected directly from the Sargasso Sea, where European eels spawn.

Once feeding commenced (after about two weeks), eels on the rotifer paste, rotifer paste with cod roe, and rotifer paste with live rotifers diets showed highest incidence of feeding, and spent much more time swimming then those on the other diets. After about three weeks, the rotifer paste with cod roe, and the rotifer paste with live rotifers seemed to generate the greatest amount of feeding. […]

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Satemplate_samantha Andrews is a marine conservation biologist/ecologist. She holds an MSc in Marine Environmental Management, an Advanced Graduate Diploma (3/4 of a Masters) in Fisheries Management, and is currently undertaking a PhD focusing on marine spatial management for conservation and sustainable ocean use. She has worked closely alongside Government, NGOs, and the fishing industry to help improve the ways in which we interact with the ocean. When she is not doing science, she works as a marine science communicator.