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 Just Accepted

This article has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication. It is in production and has not been edited, so may differ from the final published form.

The migration behaviour of European silver eels (Anguilla anguilla) released in open ocean conditions

Klaus Wysujack, HÃ¥kan Westerberg, Kim Aarestrup, Jochen Trautner, Tagried Kurwie, Florian Nagel, Reinhold Hanel


Despite some recent progress, there are still large gaps of knowledge about migration routes and behaviour of European eels Anguilla anguilla during their long-distance oceanic spawning migration. To achieve a better understanding of the migration behaviour, in the present study 28 large female eels were equipped with pop-up satellite transmitters and released at three different locations in the Atlantic Ocean and in the Sargasso Sea. The study covers tracking periods between 7 and 92 days. The distance between release point and estimated pop up position ranged from 40 to 1,000 km, the mean minimum migration speeds from 1.5 to 17.0 km day-1. The eels consistently conducted distinct diel vertical movements (DVM) with daily amplitudes of more than 300 m and maximum diving depths of more than 1000 m. Eels released in the Sargasso Sea used greater depths and a broader temperature range than individuals released in the Atlantic Ocean closer to the European continent. At least 2 eels were clearly preyed upon. The transmitters ascended in a considerable range of directions from the release points. Hence, the results of the study did not allow clear conclusions about the detailed location of the spawning site and on the routes of the eels to the spawning grounds.

MF14023  Accepted 05 May 2014
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