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News|15 May, 2018

Joint NGO feedback on European eel evaluation

8 NGOs signed the joint feedback

WWF together with FishSec, ClientEarth, PEW, EAA, Good Fish Foundation, Seas at Risk and Our Fish provided feedback on the effectiveness and implementation of the upcoming evaluation of the EU Eel Regulation. It is our hope that through implementation of urgent measures and better management and protection in the future, we can enable long-term recovery and sustainable exploitation of European eel, but we note that we are a very long way from there today.

We are asking the European Commission to ensure that this evaluation of the effectiveness and
coherence of the measures taken to aid the recovery of European eel assesses all aspects of eel management and potential options for the future, including:

  • The overall objective for the EU framework – at least 40 % escapement to the sea of silver eels –and whether it is in coherence with the precautionary principle and the MSY objective.
  • The incongruity of the current levels of exploitation of a critically endangered species.
  • The effectiveness of fisheries closures/restrictions for all life stages.
  • The targets and indicators set in the national eel management plans, as well as the national monitoring to measure progress.
  • Reporting and data collection obligations, as one of the main problems when assessing fishing effort and management progress is a lack of consistent reporting from the Member States.
  • Restocking practices (which rely on wild eel catches) and the associated overall effectiveness in terms of conservation.
  • Progress on measures to address other major anthropogenic impacts on eel, primarily habitat restoration and removal of migration barriers.
  • The use of public funds (EMFF) and whether it has aided eel recovery.
  • The still substantial illegal trade of European eel outside of and inside the EU and its effect on eel conservation.
  • The legal trade of European eel and its potential role in enabling illegal trade.
  • Control and enforcement issues related to the entire chain, from glass eel fisheries to consumption of eel products, including more coordinated action between the Member States’ enforcement agencies.
  • The implementation of EU commitments within the framework of CMS and CITES.
  • Contamination levels of wild European eels at different life stages and related health aspects linked to consumption.

Read the full feedback here.

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Last modified 22/11/19

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