Common eelpout, Viviparous blenny, Viviparous eelpout; scientific name: Zoarces viviparus
Photo: UPB-Projektgruppe Trier

As the only viviparous fish in German nearshore waters, it is a bioindicator in nearshore coastal marine ecosystems.

The European eelpout is a groundfish which inhabits coastal areas of the North and Baltic Seas and does not travel far. This makes it a very useful indicator within marine sampling areas. For this reason it was proposed by Sweden in 1991 as a coastal bioindicator for the Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission (Helsinki Commission). It is also envisaged as an indicator for the Baltic Monitoring Programme and the Joint Monitoring Programme.

Muscle and liver are used as a specimen. Sampling takes place once a year in the early summer.

Guideline for Sampling and Sample Processing Eelpout (Zoarces viviparus)

Target organs/Matrices

Musculature The musculature or muscles are the eatable part of the fish and therefore are directly linked to the human food chain.
Liver The liver is the main reloading point of the substances within the body. Therefore the liver is analysed of the eco-toxicological relevant substances.

Sampling area

NP Vorpommersche Boddenlandschaft National Park in the largest brackish water (Bodden) habitat of the world.
BR/NP Wattenmeere National park in the world largest connected sand and mud flats.


Metals Eighty percent of all elements on earth are metals
Nonmetals Only eighteen elements in the periodic table
Organometallic compounds Organic substances with at least one metall atom
Chlorohydrocarbons Group of organic compounds with at least one covalently bonded chlorine atom
DDT and metabolites Toxic and persistent organochloropesticide
Hexachlorocyclohexane Several isomeric compounds among the group of chlorinated hydrocarbons
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl compounds Organic compounds which are fully (per-) or partially (poly-) fluorinated
Polycyclic musks Class of synthetic fragrances
Stable Isotopes Atoms of one element with different weights
Flame Retardants Flame retardants reduce the flammability of objects
Supplementary parameters Additional information for the interpretation of contamination data

Sampling period

1994 - 2019

Biometric parameters


Extended information

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