The European eel is the most important aquaculture species in the Netherlands. But world-wide, natural eel populations have decreased considerably in numbers since the 1970s. Nevertheless, eel farms still depend on the catches of glass eels in nature which are then raised to market size.
Closing the production cycle
Propagation in captivity could supply aquaculture with glass eels and close the production cycle.
Stichting Duurzame Palingsector Nederland (Dutch Sustainable Eel Sector Foundation, DUPAN) and Wageningen University & Reserach, Animal Breeding & Genomics have taken the initiative to establish the Eel Reproduction Innovation Centre (EELRIC).
EELRIC functions as a platform for an international research consortium, sharing experience and collaborating to force breakthroughs. EELRIC is a major step towards sustainable eel cultivation. So far we have succeeded in producing eel larvae in captivity. The big challenge now is to grow them to viable glass eels.
EELRIC is initiated and owned by the partnership between Stichting Duurzame Palingsector Nederland (DUPAN – representing the Dutch eel sector) and Wageningen University & Research. EELRIC is a major step towards sustainable eel cultivation.