The Sustainable Eel Group has launched a public consultation on the second draft of the sixth version of its Standard, a Code of Practice for a Responsible Eel Sector, open until 31 December 2017.
© F. Douaud
The Sustainable Eel Group (SEG) has been constantly updating the SEG Standard, a certification scheme that aims to ensure that the European eel is fished in a responsible way, in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Life below Water and to meet the ISEAL sustainability standards. SEG is now developing the sixth version of the SEG Standard, whose second revised draft has been published and is open for consultation. The first draft was published in June 2017. That round of consultations generated 52 pages of comments which have been considered, and many incorporated into the new draft.
The consultation is public, though we have targeted our 800 contacts who have most interest in the European eel. The aim of the consultation is to engage as many ideas as possible, to incorporate a wide range of views and make it as usable to as many interests as possible.
David Bunt, Project Manager for the review of the SEG standard said: “In future, businesses and consumers will be able to choose to purchase SEG certified eels with the confidence that they are responsibly sourced, and are also making a contribution to the eel’s recovery”.
Andrew Kerr, SEG Chairman said “With current proposals in the EU to ban eel fishing, the SEG standard offers a balanced middle ground between unregulated fishing and illegal exports and stopping all fishing and connected businesses and traditions. We believe that, if the whole sector adopted the standard, a € 550M a year industry, supporting 10,000 jobs can thrive, whilst also helping the eel to recover”.
SEG is also seeking membership of ISEAL and their independent accreditation of the SEG Standard.
To contribute to the consultation please visit: http://www.sustainableeelgroup.org/review-seg-standard/
In 2010, SEG adopted the first version of the SEG Standard. The SEG Standard is aligned with the 2007 EU Eel Regulation’ s purpose of ‘protection and sustainable use’ of the European Eel.
The standard supports the EU Eel Regulation by:
- Certifying fishing only where local stocks are meeting responsible targets;
- Requiring improved fishing methods with better survival of fish;
- Requiring high standards of handling, storage, biosecurity and welfare;
- Requiring assurance of traceability to responsible sources; and
- Requiring that the Regulation target of 60% of glass eels caught be for restocking
The standard also aims for those who are certified to be able to show the part they are playing in making a positive contribution to the European Eel.