Action A2 is a preparatory action and will be preparatory for the implementation of other LIFEEL Actions. This action has been almost completely completed and thanks to it a protocol has been developed that can identify with a more than good reliability the migrant eels from the pre-migrants.
This protocol was developed in Italy by dr. Mordenti of the University of Bologna (Dip. Veterinary Medical Sciences) in collaboration with the University of Ferrara, the Parks of the Po Delta of Emilia and that of Veneto, while in Greece we have availed ourselves of the collaboration of dr. Sapounidis, of the Fisheries Research Institute.
To arrive at the definition of the protocol, in Italy, 7 populations of the upper Adriatic were analyzed: 6 fall within the valley areas of the Po Delta Park of Veneto (Valle Bonello, Valle San Carlo, Valle Cà Pasta, Valle Scanarello) and Emilia-Romagna (Valli di Comacchio and Valle Nuova) and 1 positioned further north within the marano-Grado valley area. As for the Greek population, the population present in the Vistonida valley area within the National Park of East Macedonia and Thrace was investigated. The sampling campaign involved the morphometric analysis of over 1,600 adult eel females, mostly of Italian origin and to a lesser extent of Hellenic origin.
The protocol works through the inclusion in the program of only two morphometric parameters (total length and diameter of the eye) and with these data it will be possible to characterize the eels according to 3 different stages: resident eels (non-migrants), fully migrant eels (100%) and eels with a migration degree of more than 90%. Thanks to this LIFEEL product, operators in the sector can count on a valid tool able to make a selection of the most valid breeders to be released to support reproduction in nature, ensuring a further important step forward in the conservation of eel. The protocol and instructions can be downloaded from the homepage of this site (www.lifeel.eu
Other sampling activities will be carried out in the coming months with the aim of optimising the finalisation of the protocol.