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Estimates of the mortality and the duration of the trans-Atlantic migration of European eel Anguilla anguilla leptocephali using a particle tracking model

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Using Lagrangian simulations, based on circulation models over three different hydroclimatic periods in the last 45 years in the North Atlantic Ocean, the trans-Atlantic migration of the European eel Anguilla anguilla leptocephali was simulated via the passive drift of particles released in the spawning area. Three different behaviours were modelled: drifting at fixed depth, undergoing a vertical migration or choosing the fastest currents. Simulations included mortality hypotheses to estimate a realistic mean migration duration and relative survival of A. anguilla larvae. The mean migration duration was estimated as 21 months and the mortality rate as 3·8 per year, i.e. < 0·2% of A. anguilla larvae may typically survive the trans-Atlantic migration.

Keywords: Lagrangian modelling; leptocephalus mortality; migration duration

Document Type: Regular Paper


Affiliations: 1: Agrocampus Ouest, UMR 985 INRA-Agrocampus Ouest Ecologie et Santé des Ecosystèmes, Laboratoire d’Ecologie Halieutique, 65 rue de St-Brieuc, CS 84215, 35042 Rennes Cedex, France 2: Laboratoire de Physique des Océans, CNRS-IFREMER-IRD-UBO, UFR Sciences et Techniques 6 avenue Le Gorgeu - CS 93837, 29238 Brest Cedex 3, France 3: Pêches et Océans Canada, Institut Maurice Lamontagne, 850 route de la Mer, C.P. 1000, Mont-Joli, Québec, G5H 3Z4 Canada

Publication date: 2009-06-01

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