Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

Sustainable Eel Group: Development of a Habitat Improvement Strategy QUESTIONNAIRE

The Sustainable Eel Group is a charitable group that has been set up with the purpose of encouraging healthy eel populations, distributed throughout their natural range, fulfilling their role in the aquatic environment and capable of supporting sustainable exploitation for the benefit of local economies.  To help achieve these aims, the SEG is devising a habitat improvement strategy that will help to identify priority works that will benefit eels and offer the greatest potential for improvement of silver eel spawner escapement.

Key features of the strategy are to produce;

  1. UK map of potential large eel habitat projects with accompanying GIS file.
  2. List of recommended national priority eel habitat opportunities.
  3. List of recommended eel habitat priorities on a WFD River Basin District basis, cross-referenced with Section 5 of the Eel Management Plans.
  4. Supporting information for delivery stakeholders e.g. eel habitat requirements, list of eel champions, potential funding sources etc.
  5. Map & priorities based on the project area of the North Sea Interreg area (to meet the funding requirements of the Living North Sea project).

In order to achieve these aims, it is first important to identify habitat improvement works that have been being carried out or are planned by the many organisations that work to improve our environment.  In many cases, eel may not be the target species, but they might benefit from the habitat improvement.

Please could you provide information on any of the following habitat works that have been conducted or are planned by your organisation or any others you know of that could benefit eels:

  • Wetland restoration, creation or management
  • On-line lagoon, pond or lake creation, restoration or management
  • River restoration that could benefit eels, such as improvements in substratum, in-stream and/or marginal vegetation, refugia and biodiversity
  • In-stream barrier removal, provision of passes or alternative routes or water level management schemes that could improve connectivity and hence upstream and/or downstream movements of eels
  • Pollution prevention or mitigation works
  • Any other examples of habitat works that could benefit eels, directly or indirectly

Please provide contact information and brief details, including a brief description of the works and any publications or data, area affected (e.g. m2), a grid reference, sources of funding and any other details you consider relevant. This information will be used to meet the project aims above and made available to those working on eel habitat restoration so that experiences can be shared and future work can be better targeted.

Please can you return this information to Dr Polly Couldrick ( by Friday 7th January 2011 so that it can be included in the study and help towards conserving eels.

Many thanks,

The Sustainable Eel Group