Seas At Risk joined 19 other NGOs in a call to fisheries ministers to ban fisheries for adult eel in all EU waters, including fresh water. Due to anthropogenic impacts there has been a dramatic reduction in the European eel in all the EU in the last 30 years, and less than 5% of the stock is left. Conservation efforts to protect this species have failed up to now. Since 2008 scientists have been advising to close the fisheries, but this has so far been ignored by the Ministers. The state of the European eel got to such critical level that immediate action is necessary to achieve the recovery of the species. A ban on the fishing on adult eels would allow them to spawn as a first step to recovery.
Fisheries ministers will meet on 12 December to negotiate fishing quotas for 2018, and a proposal by the European Commission to ban fisheries for adult eel will be on the table. For a recovery of the European eel the proposed ban alone will not be sufficient. Additional EU wide measures are urgently needed, including ensuring free migration routes in all European rivers with historical data of migratory eels, and stocking eel only for pure conservation purposes, not for fisheries. Such additional measures will not be negotiated in December, as they can only cover marine waters as part of the Common Fisheries Policy. The NGOs therefore asked the fisheries ministers what additional measures they will take to ensure eel recovery.
Posted on: 28 November 2017