Journal Article

On the application of models of European eel (<i>Anguilla anguilla</i>) production and escapement to the development of Eel Management Plans: the River Severn

M. W. Aprahamian, A. M. Walker, B. Williams, A. Bark and B. Knights

in ICES Journal of Marine Science

Published on behalf of ICES/CIEM

Volume 64, issue 7, pages 1472-1482
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 1054-3139
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1095-9289 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsm131
On the application of models of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) production and escapement to the development of Eel Management Plans: the River Severn

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Aprahamian, M. W., Walker, A. M., Williams, B., Bark, A., and Knights, B. 2007. On the application of models of European eel (Anguilla anguilla) production and escapement to the development of Eel Management Plans: the River Severn. – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 64: 1472–1482.

The European eel stock has declined significantly since the 1980s, and the Eel Recovery Plan of the European Commission requires Member States to develop river basin Eel Management Plans (EMPs) that will achieve an escapement of silver eels that equals or exceeds 40% of the escapement biomass that would be produced in the absence of human activities. However, because silver eel escapement is not quantified within the UK, a modelling approach is required to estimate potential and actual escapement, and to assess the likely effects of management measures. We focus on two approaches developed in the UK, the Reference Condition Model (RCM) and the Scenario-based Model for Eel Populations (SMEP), and illustrate how such approaches can be used in EMPs using selected data from the River Severn. The RCM results indicate that the yellow eel population in the River Severn basin may be just 30–40% of the potential density indicated by reference conditions derived from a selection of rivers between the late 1970s and the early 1980s. The challenges of applying a model designed to be as realistic of eel production as possible, and the limited data on natural eel habitat and eel production in the Severn, preclude a SMEP analysis similar to that of the RCM, but simulations based on a simplified basin description and eel survey data from the early 1980s illustrate the potential of this model to assess compliance and test management scenarios.

Keywords: Anguilla anguilla; catchment; escapement; model; population; silver eel

Journal Article.  8462 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Environmental Science ; Marine and Estuarine Biology

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