Determining the potential of otolith and tissue microchemistry for the traceability of glass eels
Export of European eel from and into the EU is suspended since December 2010 and EU regulations set a clear framework and therefore demands the identification of origin and traceability of all live eels. Two major factors impede the traceability of live traded European glass eels across Europe and beyond: (1) The species range of A. anguilla exceeds the borders of European Union and consequently eels of different origin cannot be distinguished by genetics. (2) Illegal trade of glass eel from Europe to Asia has recently been identified as one of the potential major threats for the species survival and is estimated to account for 30-50% of the declared European glass eel catches. In addition, countries neighboring the EU, increasingly export European eels since 2010. It is uncertain if these exports from non-EU countries originate from their territories, or if shipments include eels of EU origin.