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Variability in growth rates of freshwater eels in New Zealand



Variability in growth rates of freshwater eels in New Zealand



Ecology of Freshwater Fish 6(2): 108-115



Both species of New Zealand freshwater eels (the shortfinned eel Anguilla australis and the longfinned eel A. dieffenbachii) are widespread and abundant, supporting important commercial and recreational fisheries. This article reviews growth studies from 35 widely distributed sites throughout New Zealand and discusses factors that influence growth rates. Length at given age is characterized by high intra- and inter-population variability; growth rates for eels gt 30 cm are typically slow (2-3 cm per year) and linear, with females generally growing faster than males. Water temperature affects the length of the growing season, although growth rates are not correlated with latitude. Other factors suggested as affecting growth rates are eel density, quantity and quality of food, and interactions between both eel species. Although growth of some New Zealand eel populations is the slowest recorded for any species of Anguilla, growth in culture can be rapid, similar to that of other temperate eel species.

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Accession: 034181414

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