Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Loire Atlantique. Elver poaching: 23 people arrested since the start of the season

Loire Atlantique. Elver poaching: 23 people arrested since the start of the season
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“The figures sound like the resurgence of baby eel poaching. The authorities have arrested 23 people since the start of the glass eel fishing season in the Nantes sector. The last, on the night of Wednesday March 2 to Thursday March 3, in the Saint-Félix canal…”
Read the full article by Kevin Grethen for Ouest France in French here, translated into English below:

The protective effect of the coronavirus is over for glass eels . Left rather quiet for the past two years, baby eels are once again the prey, in 2022, of poachers and parallel networks organized to send this white gold to Asia where this product from our rivers sells for several thousand euros per kilo. “As the borders have reopened, there is an upsurge in poaching activity. Levels are high.worries Marianne Dewas, deputy prosecutor who manages the file at the Nantes prosecutor’s office. The figures show it: during the surveillance operations carried out in recent weeks, agents from the French Office for Biodiversity (OFB) and the police arrested twenty-three people in the Nantes sector.
Several operations were carried out at Le Pellerin. Sometimes in the heart of Nantes. A man was caught by the patrol in the middle of fishing this Thursday, March 3, around 4 a.m. “OFB agents and two police patrols carried out discreet surveillance at the Saint-Félix canal, says the magistrate, present on the spot. Several people were there, at the foot of the lock with their big sieve. »
Systematic seizure of vehicles
Officers also seized two vehicles. “One belongs to the arrested man. It has not yet been identified whose second vehicle is. There was elver fishing gear inside. And transporting this type of material is already an offence,” says Marianne Dewas.
The parquet floor of Nantes hardens the tone vis-a-vis the poachers. “We will systematically seize the vehicles because they are real instruments of the offence. And all those who are caught will be prosecuted, ” promises the representative of the prosecution. They will be summoned next fall for special hearings before the criminal court. “You have to be firm in suppressing and deterring, because this species is on the verge of extinction. »