Monitoring the migration of the European eel (Anguilla anguilla): a non-intrusive sonar method

Gary Bilotta, Peter Sibley, John Hateley, Andy Don

Research output: Other contribution


The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is an important species both ecologically and economically (Moriarty & Dekker, 1997). However, the species has experienced a sharp population decline across its range over the last 30 years and is now classified as ‘critically endangered’ according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (Freyhof & Kottelat, 2008). In recognition of this issue, the European Commission has established legislation (Regulation No.1100/2007), which requires all member states with natural A. anguilla habitats to produce Eel Management Plans (EMPs) with a goal to permit the escapement to sea of at least 40% of the silver eel (adult life-stage) biomass that would have occurred prior to anthropogenic influences. To demonstrate the level of compliance with this target figure and ensure the conservation of this species, it is necessary to collect accurate and reliable datasets of A. anguilla escapement. The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential of high-frequency multi-beam sonar for collecting such data and to examine the usefulness of this non-intrusive approach for the conservation of elusive aquatic species such as A. anguilla.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRegional Water Authority
Place of PublicationVeendam, Netherlands
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

This best practice example was published in: Gough, P., Philipsen, P., Schollema, P.P. & Wanningen, H., 2012. From sea to source; International guidance for the restoration of fish migration highways. The Netherlands: Regional Water Authority


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