All Northern European eel farms have fully switched to SEG-certified glass eels for the 2021/2022 season. With this, the eel farms are taking a big step towards sustainability in eel supply within the European Union.
The SEG Standard certifies glass eel fishery and awards glass eel traders, eel farms and smokehouses/traders with chain of custody certification. This means each eel supplied can be traced back to its source, from glass eel catch to end product. Certified glass eel is an important step in this chain, as certified glass eel fishermen can guarantee they use the most sustainable methods, with a survival rate of more than 95% during catch and transport, where 50% was not unusual before. What’s more, there is transparency in all catches per fisherman and where they were delivered. Large trafficking operations, once common in the direction of China, are virtually impossible this way.
The switch came a little too soon for two local eel farms in Southern Europe: they are not SEG certified yet. All other farms in Europe are now certified with the SEG Chain of Custody certificate, in accordance with the SEG Standard 6.0.
Glass eel for release/repopulation
60% of all glass eels caught is reserved for restocking at locations in Europe where the fish cannot get to or has difficulty getting to. This year, governments and organisations responsible for this release in the EU member states also moved to SEG-certified glass eel as much as possible.
In France, where 85% of all European glass eel is obtained, two-thirds of all fisheries and the three largest traders are already SEG certified. Together, these companies are able to supply certified glass eel to the entire market for farming and restocking.