Hard times for catadromous fish: the case of the European eel Anguilla anguilla (L. 1758)

Submitted: 22 July 2021
Accepted: 18 October 2021
Published: 7 December 2021
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  • Cinzia Podda Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Andrea Sabatini Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Francesco Palmas Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy.
  • Antonio Pusceddu Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy.

Catadromous fish species are very important organisms for their ecological, economical, and cultural value. For its complex life species catadromous fish result in worldwide decline since the beginning of the 20th century. Among the most iconic catadromous species, the European eel Anguilla anguilla L. 1758 has aroused considerable interest since very ancient times. Because, to date, many aspects of their life cycle remain relatively unknown, to implement our knowledge about the main natural and anthropogenic threats to its survivorship and identify possible solutions to preserve it, in this narrative review, we present the state of the knowledge about the life cycle, habitat occupancy, recruitment, and migration patterns of the European eel and about the major threats most likely have contributed to the decline of eels’ populations.

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