Eel embryos. Photo: Sune Riis Sørensen

Objectives of EEL-HATCH

Hatchery and rearing technology for commercial production of glass eels is fundamental to sustainable and profitable eel aquaculture. The vision is to enhance existing technology to rear European eel larvae to the glass eel stage, thereby closing the lifecycle in captivity.

EEL-HATCH builds on pioneering research of the EU-project PRO-EEL that raised eel breeding from a state of reproductive failure to a stable production of viable larvae.The PRO-EEL project included full scale breeding experiments performed by members of the EEL-HATCH consortium.  


Based on the EEL-HATCH consortium’s existing knowledge, technology and facilities, the project will specifically enhance eel breeding protocols and expand hatchery technology for larval culture throughout the intricate larval development phases of this species, including the leptocephalus larvae i.e. the feeding larval stage, ultimately transforming into glass eels.

Together, synergies between scientific advancement, technology development, and industrial know-how will enable innovative captive breeding and larval culture systems and protocols, ultimately, leading to commercial production of glass eels. 

Success criteria

Overall success criteria are achievement of large-scale production of viable gametes and culture of larvae, leading to glass eel production.

All technology and procedures developed in small- to medium-scale experiments will be tested in full-scale to ascertain applicability at a commercial level. This includes integration of broodstock feeding trials used as a starting point, hormonally assisted reproduction, and artificial fertilization methods for gamete production, as well as offspring culture progressing towards future glass eels production.




EEL-HATCH builds on pioneering research of the EU-project PRO-EEL. Visit for more information.
1 MARCH 2024