Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

SEG’s statement on the EC’s proposal concerning eel fisheries ban

07 Nov 2017. The Commissions’ proposal to stop eel fishing in marine waters will now go to the Fisheries Ministers in early December and on to the Council of Ministers. SEG continues to call for increased protection of eel stocks and especially the need for more effective eel management – coordination is weak and follow through implementation very patchy.
As the Commission recognizes, the likely positive benefits of the proposal to stop eel fishing in marine waters will be limited, therefore more is needed.
So SEG calls for 
  • MS Eel Management Plans to address the environmental issues like blocked fish migration path ways, wetland habitat loss and turbine mortality. Even the restocking conservation measure has been poorly implemented and the 60% target for glass eel caught to be used for restocking has been repeatedly missed – SEG’s latest study shows this has at best only been half implemented. SEG will shortly be making detailed recommendations to improve the effectiveness of this conservation measure.
  • A full evaluation and review of the Eel Regulation in 2018.
  • An evaluation and review of the effectiveness of trade restrictions like the CITES listing and the enforcement actions so as to stop glass eel trafficking to Asia, which has become a tragedy with over 100 million sent in 2017 – twice the number grown on in the aquaculture farms of Europe for EU consumption.
  • The improvement of the effectiveness of the existing Regulation,strengtheningthe coordination and accountability by establishing clear leadership.
Overall SEG welcomes the debate that this proposal creates so that the European Eel and the deep culture and fishing traditions of Europe can be maintained.