Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

***LIVE TICKER*** AGRIFISH 17/18 December 2018

On December 17-18 (Monday & Tuesday), the EU Fisheries Ministers will meet to decide about fishing opportunities for 2019. This may include a decision about a 3 months eel fishing ban of all life stages.

Please find background information for meeting here
The live stream for the press conference will be available here
2017 Decision including the Joint Declaration is available here
“Member States will fully implement their national eel management plans and reinforce them as appropriate by further decreasing anthropogenic mortality factors during all stages of the eel lifecycle by a combination of measures such as reducing commercial fishing activity, restricting recreational fishing, putting in place structural measures to make rivers passable, improving river habitats, and transporting silver eels from inland waters to waters from which they can escape freely to the Sargasso Sea.”

Friday, 14.12.2018
  • 05:04 pm: Indicative Programme for the AGRIFISH meeting is online here!
Monday, 17.12.2018
  • 06:38 am: Indicative Programme implies that fishery decisions including the ones on eel fishery, will become public after the ‘Roundtable -fisheries’ starting at 10:00 on Tuesday
  • 11:40 am: Extracts from the #Fisheries roundtable at the #AGRIFISH taking place in Brussels on 17 December under the @EU2018AT  STREAM VIDEO
  • 12:11 pm:

???? watch the #AGRIFISH council live at:

? 10:05
? 11:05
? 14:05
? 17:30

? streaming?

— EU2018AT (@EU2018AT) December 17, 2018

  • 03:24 pm: Just received a reply from the AGRIFISH press officer – decisions on fisheries will be communicated at the press conference tomorrow! 
Fisheries is on the agenda of tomorrow’s meeting. So any decision will be communicated at the press conference tomorrow
— Daniela Lenzu (@daniela_lenzu) December 17, 2018
Tuesday, 18.12.2018
  • 09:45 am: Next VIDEO LIVE STREAM from the AGRIFISH meeting will be available at 11:00 am
  • 11:00 am: Roundtable (Fisheries) Extracts from the Fisheries roundtable at the Agriculture and Fisheries Council, taking place on 18 December 2018, in Brussels (VIDEO).
  • 12:00 am
    Interruption of the meeting. Ministers to gather not earlier than at 20.00 for a possible compromise on 2019 TACs and quotas
    — Daniela Lenzu (@daniela_lenzu) December 18, 2018
  • 08:20 pm
#AgriFish ministers not reconvening before midnight
— Daniela Lenzu (@daniela_lenzu) December 18, 2018
Wednesday, 19.12.2018
  • 02:50 am

  • 04:15 amThe Council decided to further protect European eel by extending the mandatory closures agreed for 2018 to recreational fisheries and glass eel fisheries. These measures will cover brackish waters such as estuaries, coastal lagoons and transitional waters, and will ensure consistency with the measures on eel in the Mediterranean Sea.
Download first statement here
Download list of participants here
Download Outcome of the Council meeting here
Excerpt from press conference 19.12.2018, Karmenu VELLA: “We made further progress in protecting the eel stock which is still in a critical condition. Following the important decisions taking earlier this year for the Mediterranean, today created a level playing field across the EU by establishing a consecutive 3 months closure period to be chosen between August and February for all fisheries of European eel at all life stages including glass eel. This closure will apply to all marine waters and brackish waters and these are crucial measures to ensure the recovery of the stock.“ Watch VIDEO here

Eel measures agreed for 2019 this morning (source: European Anglers Alliance)
(to be finally adopted by the EU Member States (procedure in writing – no meeting), and then the final legal text in all EU languages will be published later this month or sometime in January. In any case the agreement takes effect from 1st of January as we understand it).
Agreed for marine fishing for eels:
● A three month closed period. Member States decide themselves which three months within a seven-month period (1 August 2019 and 29 February 2020). This period was extended from the Commission’s proposed five months to seven months by one month in both ends (we assume this additional flexibility was a request from the glass eel catching fishers/countries but we don’t know).
● The closed period does not concern freshwaters (which the Commission had proposed).
● The closed period applies not only to commercial marine fishing for eels but recreational fishing too (which is not the case this year).
● The closed period also applies to glass eel fishing (this year it doesn’t apply to fishing for eels less than 12 cm long)
● The closed period also applies to the Mediterranean Sea (which it does not this year).