Abundance and Growth of the European Eels (Anguilla anguilla Linnaeus, 1758) in Small Estuarine Habitats from the Eastern English Channel

Type Article
Date 2022-10
Language English
Author(s) Denis JeremyORCID1, Mahé KeligORCID2, Amara RachidORCID1
Affiliation(s) 1 : Université du Littoral Côte d’Opale, Université Lille, CNRS, IRD, UMR 8187, LOG, Laboratoire d’Océanologie et de Géosciences, F-62930 Wimereux, France
2 : IFREMER, Fisheries Laboratory, 150 Quai Gambetta, BP 699, F-62321 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France
Source Fishes (2410-3888) (MDPI AG), 2022-10 , Vol. 7 , N. 5 , P. 213 (18p.)
DOI 10.3390/fishes7050213
Note This article belongs to the Special Issue Otoliths and Their Applications in Fishery Science
Keyword(s) length-frequency distribution, age, sex-ratio, hydro-morpho-sedimentary characteristics
Abstract

Abundance and growth of the European eel from six small northern French estuaries during their growth phase were examined to explore variations according to the local habitat characteristics. The length–weight relationships and growth models fitted to length-at-age back-calculated otolith growth increments were used to compare the growth. Higher abundances were observed in the smaller estuaries (2.4 to 10.5 ind. fyke nets 24 h−1). The eel length ranged from 215–924 mm with an age range of 4–21 years. There was no significant difference in fish eel lengths or age except in the Liane estuary where the individuals were larger. The length–weight relationships showed an isometric or positive allometric growth in most estuaries. The Gompertz growth models, which best fits the growth, showed no significant differences between estuaries except for female eels from the Liane and the Somme estuaries where the growth performance index was higher. The estimated annual growth rate varied from 2.7 to 115.0 mm·yr−1 for female and from 4.4 to 90.5 mm·yr−1 for male. The present study shows that eels in the six estuaries had CPUE and growth rates similar to those previously reported in larger habitats. These results reinforce the idea that small estuaries are important habitats that contribute significantly to the eel population and, therefore, play an essential role in conservation strategies for European eel.

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