Caroline Durif leads the annual meeting of European eel experts!

9-12 October 2023 – The European Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture Advisory Commission (EIFAAC), the General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) and the ICES Working Group on Eel (WGEEL) met in Helsinki, Finland this year. Caroline Durif was appointed chair of WGEEL in January 2023 along with Jan-Dag Pohlmann. Thirty-three participants gathered to share their expertise and provide the scientific basis for the ICES advice on fishing opportunities and conservation aspects for the European eel. One of the highlights of this 10-day meeting was the visit of the Kotka Maretarium, which displays the only European eels to have spontaneously matured in captivity. Sexual maturation only occurs at sea during the spawning migration and natural triggers are unknown. What enables the eels in the aquarium at Kotka to become sexually mature is a complete mystery!

Maturing eel in a display aquarium at the Kotka Maretarium