Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel
European eel has been eaten and enjoyed since Aristotle or even earlier. In the European cultural heritage eel plays an important role. Many livelihoods including fishermen, retailers, aquaculturists and processors depend on the eel tradition. This connects them with nature and helps create a fuller understanding of what eel stewardship means. The majority of the commercial eel businesses are small to medium sized family enterprises. Eel-specific knowledge, collected over generations, is an important information source for science and conservation. The commercial eel sector is involved with SEG and is actively contributing to the recovery of the European eel stock in many ways including (1) Responsible eel sourcing in compliance with the SEG Standard; (2) Restocking suitable habitats with young eels; (3) Protecting adult eels on their migration to the spawning area by safeguarding silver eels from hydropower turbines and pumps and (4) Consumer involvement through the Eel Stewardship Fund. The ESF also funds research into captive breeding programs, which may provide a longer term solution.