Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Police seizes criminal assets and arrests 9 in illegal eel trafficking operation

Concurrently with the SEG Conference on May 31st in London, where major evidence was presented exposing the extensive illegal trafficking of eels, the French police has actively raided several suspicious eel traders. The raids are part of a major operation that started in November 2015, which also includes Spanish law enforcement teams. This operation was launched to dismantle international traffickers and seize the surplus of eels that would otherwise end up in illegal shipments to Asia.

The Sustainable Eel Group applauds the efforts of the French and Spanish police. Last night’s actions resulted in nine arrests in Loire-Atlantique, and the seizure of more than €645.000 worth of criminal assets. The police further reports that this was the largest operation ever in this area, and that besides an amount of €300.000 in cash and bank accounts, ten luxury cars, a yacht, exclusive jewellery and 124 kilos of glass eels were seized.

The hard work that is being done by conservationists, scientists and policymakers to improve the eel population in Europe is in dire need of determined and coordinated enforcement against illegal trafficking. Responsible fishing, trading and protection measures will eventually result in a sustainable eel sector. Conservation efforts, coming from commercial fishing and several European initiatives, contribute to the conservation of the eel population. SEG is an advocate for a sector that works closely with science and conservation to achieve the recovery of the European eel.

To view the entire presentation of illegal trade at the SEG 2016 Conference, click here.

To read the original news article in French, click here.