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Ecology and conservation of the American eel in the Caribbean region

July 3, 2018

The majority of American eel, Anguilla rostrata LeSueur, knowledge is derived from temperate regions in the United States and Canada, with little known from its tropical Caribbean distribution. Findings of original research on American eel distribution, abundance, population biology, habitat ecology and threats from the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico were synthesised. American eel were captured from 48 of 116 sites (41.4%) in 26 of 49 river basins (53.1%) during 2005–2016, and it was extirpated upstream of dams and migration barriers >3.0 m high (38.9% of habitat). Mean density and biomass were 438.9 fish/ha and 23.44 kg/ha, respectively. Upstream habitats favoured larger individuals, and females were larger than males. The swim‐bladder parasite Anguillicoloides crassus Kuwahara, Niimi & Hagaki was not found in 120 eels examined. Realised threats include dams and other migratory barriers, habitat loss and alteration and pollution; exotic species and commercial fishing are impending threats; and the least understood is climate change.

Publication Year 2019
Title Ecology and conservation of the American eel in the Caribbean region
DOI 10.1111/fme.12300
Authors Thomas J. Kwak, Augustin C. Engman, C.G. Lilyestrom
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Fisheries Management and Ecology
Index ID 70215784
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Coop Res Unit Atlanta