Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Eel heroes recognised at SEG’s 5th anniversary conference

Five leading figures behind the development and progress of the sustainable eel movement were recognised during the SEG 5th Anniversary conference at Fishmonger’s Hall this week.

The awards were given by the Environment Minister of the last UK Government, Lord de Mauley.

The citations from the awards panel and SEG Chair Andrew Kerr are as follows:


These Awards are given in recognition of long term important contributions made to the sustainable eel agenda. They are given to individuals but let us not forget that alongside them, within their organisations, there are many others.

My thanks to all of you who wrote in and especially to Miran, Brian and Richard for their conclusions and citations.


DB1David Bunt (Environment Agency, England and IFM)

Since starting on this citation/award exercise, I have come to realise that David is an ‘unsung hero’ of SEG and deserves more recognition. He has made major contributions to SEG, being intimately involved in its inception and playing vital roles as its Secretary and dogsbody administrator etc and, especially, as Chair of the Eel Standard Panel.


WD1Willem Dekker (Department of Aquatic Resources, SLU, Sweden)

For his long-term contributions to the study of eel biology, population biology and conservation.  Especially for his work at raising the awareness of the plight of the eel, for his Chairmanship of ICES at a difficult time, and  for his continuing energies within ICES and the advice to the European Commission.


PW1Peter Wood (UK Glass Eels)

For his work over many years refining the technology for catching, storing and transporting glass eels resulting in very low mortalities.  Peter has been instrumental in establishing the Sustainable Eel Group and promoting the Sustainable Eel Standard and in setting the benchmark .  He has also supported many restocking projects and continues be very generous and active within SEG.


AD1Andy Don (Environment Agency, England)

He has been professionally involved with eel issues for 25 years; championing the plight of the eel even when it was ‘unfashionable’ to do so. He had the original concept of and was co-organizer with David Bunt of the Bridgwater and London eel conferences,  the first of which helped form the fledgling
SEG. He has contributed both at an operational and strategy level in improving the lot of eel: developed the ‘Eel Pass Tile’ in his own time, and was the chief architect of the ‘alternative measures’ process to deliver contributions from industry to deliver EMP outcomes.


AKo1Alex Koelewijn (DUPAN Foundation, Holland)

To recognise the role he  has played in the formation and development of DUPAN. Without his leadership the largest European market and industry would not have made the decision to adopt the Sustainable Eel Standard and to champion the recovery through conservation and sustainability.