Facilitet til reproduktion af ål. Foto: Sune Riis Sørensen

Facilities for captive reproduction of European eel

With the EEL HATCH project, DTU Aqua manages experimental facilities for reproduction of eels in culture

DTU Aqua coordinates the collaborative, research project EEL HATCH that aims at developing methods and technology to reproduce the European eel in captivity and raise larvae in culture. The ultimate goal is to establish a hatchery that can produce glass eels for the aquaculture industry. Production of glass eels in culture is of great interest due to the decline of the European eel stock in nature. A commercial production of juveniles will allow aquaculture production without wild-caught glass eels and thereby revival of the large market for eels for consumption in Europe and Asia.

The EEL HATCH consortium has as part of the project established new experimental facilities at DTU Aqua in Hirtshals. The facility, which was inaugurated in the spring of 2016, has a total area of 650 m2 and includes laboratories and culture systems for broodstock, incubation of eggs and larval rearing. The facility uses aquaculture recirculation technology and benefits from natural sea water intake via the North Sea Science Park’s pipeline.  

The research and innovation project EEL HATCH is financially supported by the Innovation Fund Denmark and its industrial project partners. The project represents an interdisciplinary, collaboration among DTU Aqua, Billund Aquaculture, STMI Aqua Systems, Danish Aquaculture Organisation, Bioneer, BioMar and North Sea Science Park.


Research in fish biology

Research in reproduction and larval culture of European eel relates to the research area Fish Biology.
Learn more about DTU Aqua's research in fish biology


Scientific Coordinator of EEL-HATCH and Senior Researcher
Jonna Tomkiewicz
Ph. +45 35 88 34 08

From the facilities

Photo: Sune Riis Sørensen
Recirculation rearing systems for European eel broodstock. 

Photo: Sune Riis Sørensen
Inspection of eggs after artificial fertilisation.

Photo: Sune Riis Sørensen
Incubation system for developing eggs and embryos.

Photo: Sune Riis Sørensen
Newly hatched larvae of European eel.