Eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) in marine environmental monitoring

2011, Fachzeitschriften

Hedman, Jenny E.; Rüdel, Heinz; Gercken, Jens; Bergek, Sara; Strand, Jakob; Quack, Markus; Appelberg, Magnus; Förlin, Lars; Tuvikene, Arvo; Bignert, Anders
Mar. Pollut. Bull. 62 (2011), 10, 2015-2029


The implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive necessitates the development of common criteria and methodological standards for marine environmental monitoring and assessment across Europe. Eelpout (Zoarces viviparus) is proposed as a key indicator organism in the Baltic and North Sea regions. This benthic fish species is widely used in ecotoxicological studies and as a bioindicator of local pollution due to its stationary behavior. Eelpout is included in the environmental monitoring program of several Baltic States, covering both chemical and biological effects measurements, and samples have been archived in environmental specimen banks for >15 years. A method for evaluating the frequency of larval aberrations has been suggested as a standardized assessment tool. The large scientific knowledge-base and considerable experience of long-term chemical and biological effects monitoring and specimen banking, make eelpout a suitable species for the assessment of Good Environmental Status in the Baltic and North Seas.