Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

New FAO report discusses European eel in trade

CITES and the sea:
Trade in commercially exploited CITES-listed marine species

For the chapter on European eel, Florian Stein, SEG’s Director of Scientific Operations was asked to contribute an expert assessment of European eel trade. You can access the entire report here and read the chapter about eels on pages 33-36. 
Following a description of the Main strength of the CITES trade data and reporting process and Main issues in the reporting of CITES trade data, he recommends the following to improve the CITES trade data and reporting process for European eels.
Recommendations to improve the CITES trade data and reporting process for European eels
  • Mechanisms to facilitate traceable trade in European eel (A. anguilla), from glass eels all the way to exports of market-sized products, still require development. This would help prevent illegally harvested and/or traded specimens entering or travelling along the supply chain: a requirement that is relevant to CITES but is directly applicable to European Union Parties (European Union Council Regulation (EC) No 1100/2007 (see SC70 Inf. 45)).
  • CITES Parties should use preferred CITES term codes and units as detailed in Annex 1 to Notification No. 2019/072, and adopt any further recommendations detailed in AC30 Com. 5 (Rev. by Sec.) to improve differentiation in traded eel commodities.
  • Standardized conversion factors should be agreed upon to allow estimates of the number of live individuals in trade based on the trade reported by weight.
  • Further recommendations can be found in the conclusions of Musing et al. (2018), including the need for improved national, regional and international cooperation to address the challenges relating to the traceability of European eel in trade.