Response given by Mr Sinkevičius on behalf of the European Commission:
“The ‘Eel Regulation1’ provides a framework for the protection and sustainable exploitation of the European eel, enhanced by the fishing closures under annual fishing opportunities regulations adopted by the Council. The Water Framework Directive2 and the Marine Strategy Framework Directive3 play an important role in eel stock recovery. The General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean (GFCM) also works on possible management measures on eels4 . The Commission is not yet in a position to inform about future measures but it is clear that more efforts are needed to implement the Eel Regulation with a greater focus on non-fisheries impacts5 . In light of the recent advice of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) on eels6 , the Commission launched a stakeholder consultation7 on how to best implement this advice. By mid-April 2022, ICES will also issue its advice on the progress of implementing Eel Management Plans by Member States. It will inform decision-making on possible management approaches. As eel conservation and management are wide-ranging issues, the management measures will need to take into account fisheries and environmental considerations as well as socio-economic impacts.