The following letter has been sent to the 20 MEPs who make up the PECH Committee of the European Parliament:
Dear (Member of PESH – the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament)
I am writing to you as an active member of the Sustainable Eel Group (SEG) because you are an MEP with a direct interest in eel through membership of PESH.
SEG is a Europe wide conservation and science led body that is working to accelerate the recovery of the European Eel by actively implementing conservation measures.
These include actions to unblock migratory pathways, to screen hydro’s and water pumps to restock rivers and wetlands where the juvenile eels are prevented from reaching, to catch and release eels over dykes and to reform the industry and the fishery through the introduction of the Sustainable Eel Standard – over half the industry has now adopted the standard and has been independently assessed as meeting it.
SEG believes that the eel crisis remains fundamentally an environmental one characterised by mystery, one where demonstrating cause and effect remains elusive and one where so many contributing factors are not yet understood.
I am asking you at your PECH meeting on Tuesday to express strong support for the sustainable solution to the eel crisis where a balance is struck between the needs of Environment, of Society and of the Industry. There is no evidence to suggest the eel crisis has got worse since the Eel Regulation was first enacted and therefore fundamental change is premature because the recovery plan always recognised that many years would be needed to demonstrate positive effects.
You should also be aware that 75% of glass eels that are caught by man are taken from the Bay of Biscay (the young ones that have floated across the Atlantic to grow up in European waters) and that the volume of arrival over the last few weeks is measured in hundreds of millions and has been the greatest for ten years.
Please do not hesitate to ring or contact SEG if you have any further questions.