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.

For more information about the specimen, the sampling and the processing of samples see the 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


Sampling period

1994 - 2023

Biometric parameters

Extended information

Links to external information and legislation