Shortfin and longfin eel aquaculture

Two eel species are suitable for freshwater aquaculture in Queensland:

  • The shortfin eel (Anguilla australis) is typically a temperate species and lives in coastal rivers in south-eastern Queensland, and as far south as Victoria, Tasmania and the Murray River in South Australia.
  • The longfin eel (Anguilla reinhardtii) is a more subtropical species, which lives along the entire coast of Queensland and as far south as eastern Victoria and north-eastern Tasmania.

Longfin eels are the main eel species grown by aquaculturists. Much smaller quantities of short-finned eel are grown. Almost all eels produced in Queensland are exported and marketed live.

Due to their complex life cycle, eels have not been bred in hatcheries. As a result, the eel aquaculture industry has so far had to rely on the harvesting of juvenile eels from the wild for the stocking of aquaculture ponds. Seasonal changes in wild stocks therefore limit expansion in the industry.

This guide provides an overview of eel aquaculture in Queensland.