+++ LIVE! AGRIFISH decision: Eel fishing ban 09/2018-01/2019 +++
07:55 CET: Live press conference, now available as stream here
08:00 CET: Good morning, as we understood from the AGRIFISH press conference, marine eel fishing (>12cm) will be banned from September 2018 to January 2019
In addition, Member States are forced to fully implement their national eel management plans (EMP) and increased enforcement actions need to stop the trafficking of glass eels to Asia.
08:37 CET: “For the first time at EU level, it was agreed to close eel fisheries for three months during their migration period. Moreover, Member States committed to additional actions to protect the eels throughout its lifecycle and in all sea basins. These measures are crucial, both for the recovery of the stock and to safeguard the communities who depend on this fishery.“
09:26 CET: from Politico: “Wh-eel-ing and dealing: As during the October Council on Fisheries in the Baltic Sea, the humble Anguilla anguilla, or European eel, took center stage in negotiations. Four EU fish officials confirmed that while Denmark and Germany pushed back hard against the proposal, it was Spain, France and Portugal that had to hold separate talks with Commission representatives to be convinced to accept the deal. Two EU representatives said that Spain was the last to give in. It is expected that countries will have to set a three-month closure period for eel catches, set during a period of their choosing between September and January.”
09:32 CET: “In view of the critical state of eel fisheries, it will be prohibited to fish for European eel of an overall length of 12 cmor more in Union waters of ICES areas, including the Baltic Sea, for a consecutive three-month period to be determined by each member state between 1 September 2018 and 31 January 2019. That is the time when eels are migrating and therefore are most vulnerable. Member states will have to communicate the chosen period to the Commission by 1 June 2018. The decision is complemented by a joint declaration of the European Commission and member states aiming at further protecting the stock of European eel, for instance in inland waters, through a strengthening of eel management plans during all stages of the eel lifecycle.“