Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

European Commission starts public consultation process

European Commission starts public consultation process as part of the evaluation of the Eel Regulation

Feedback period: 14 December 2018 – 8 March 2019

Target audience

All citizens and wider stakeholder community of the Member States are welcomed to express their views on the implementation of the Eel Regulation.
Main stakeholders interested in the implementation of the Eel Regulation are national authorities in charge of the implementation and enforcement of the eel management plans, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) management authorities, the eel scientists, other representatives of the eel catching, processing and marketing sector in Member States, the eel aquaculture operators, recreational eel fishermen associations, non-governmental organisations interested in marine biological resources.

Why we are consulting

The European eel stock (Anguilla anguilla) is in critical condition. Recruitment is at an all-time low and exploitation of the stock is currently unsustainable. The decline in eel stock has numerous causes including human activities such as fisheries (commercial and recreational), hydropower turbines and pumps, pollution, habitat modification and the creation of obstacles to eel migrations. A further deterioration of the status of the stock should be avoided. In 2007 a framework to ensure the protection and sustainable use of the European eel stock was established at EU level (Regulation (EC) No 1100 /2007 – the so called ‘Eel Regulation’).
This Public Consultation is part of the evaluation of the Eel Regulation. The evaluation aims to assess the measures for the recovery of the stock of the European eel under the Eel Regulation, and in particular the contribution of the Eel Management Plans established and implemented under this Regulation. These plans include measures to ensure the long-term escapement of at least 40% of adult eels and include: limiting professional and recreational fisheries, facilitating fish migration through rivers and restocking inland waters with young fish.
This Public Consultation aims to gather input from all relevant stakeholders and citizens to evaluate the measures for the recovery of the European eel stock under the Eel Regulation of 2007. It forms part of a wider consultation strategy for the evaluation that also includes targeted stakeholder consultations and several case studies that will gather more detailed evidence at a national level.
The answers provided as part of the consultation will form an important part of the Commission’s evidence base for the evaluation. The results of this consultation and the evaluation may be used to inform decisions on whether the Eel Regulation and/or the implementation measures need to be reviewed.

Responding to the questionnaire