Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Have your say on the SEG Standard

The Sustainable Eel Group has launched a public consultation on the second draft of the sixth version of its Standard, a Code of Practice for a Responsible Eel Sector, open until 31 December 2017. 

6 December 2017
The Sustainable Eel Group (SEG) has been constantly updating the SEG Standard, a certification scheme that aims to ensure that the European eel is fished in a responsible way.  It is also to to help recovery of the Eel, which is classified by the IUCN as ‘critically endangered’; to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal 14 on Life below Water and to meet the ISEAL sustainability standards.
SEG is now developing the sixth version of the SEG Standard, whose second revised draft has been published and is open for consultation.  The first draft was published in June 2017.  That round of consultations generated 52 pages of comments which have been considered, and many incorporated into the new draft.
The consultations are public, and aim at engaging relevant stakeholders and gathering information and views on the effectiveness and relevance of the SEG Standard.
David Bunt, Project Manager for the review of the SEG standard said: “In future, businesses and consumers will be able to choose to purchase SEG certified eels with the confidence that they are responsibly sourced, and are also making a contribution to the eel’s recovery”.
 Andrew Kerr, SEG Chairman said “With the current proposals in the EU to ban eel fishing, the SEG Standard offers a balanced middle ground between unregulated fishing and illegal exports versus stopping stopping all fishing and related businesses and traditions.  We believe that, if the whole sector adopted the Standard, a € 550M a year industry, supporting 10,000 jobs can thrive, whilst also helping the eel to recover”.

Photo: Stephen Cogbill

SEG is also seeking membership of ISEAL and their independent accreditation of the SEG Standard.
To contribute to the consultation please visit:
In 2010, SEG adopted the first version of the SEG Standard. The SEG Standard is aligned with the 2007 EU Eel Regulation’ s purpose of ‘protection and sustainable use’ of the European Eel.
The standard supports the EU Eel Regulation by:
  • Certifying fishing only where local stocks are meeting responsible targets;
  • Requiring improved fishing methods with better survival of fish;
  • Requiring high standards of handling, storage, bio-security and welfare;
  • Requiring assurance of traceability to responsible sources;
  • Requiring that the Regulation target of 60% of glass eels caught be for restocking
The standard also aims for those who are certified to be able to show the part they are playing in making a positive contribution to the recovery of the European Eel.