World-wide, natural eel populations have decreased strongly in numbers since the 1970s. Even so, 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, as researched by Wageningen Livestock Research, could supply aquaculture with glass eels and close the production cycle.
Several international research groups working on this issue joined forces in the Eel Reproduction Innovation Centre (EELRIC). This functions as a platform for the reproduction of eel and is home to an international consortium sharing experience and collaborating to force breakthroughs.
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.