The European Parliament recognizes the role of anglers in protecting eel

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18 Jan

On 21 November, the European Parliament adopted its own-initiative report on the implementation of the Regulation establishing measures for the recovery of the stock of European eel. The report acknowledges the positive role played by recreational anglers for eel habitat protection and restauration. The report also calls for greater efforts to restore nature and rivers connectivity.







Article 11 of the Initiative Report underlines that “commercial and recreational fishers have an important role to play in gathering data and being the guardians and ‘eyes and ears’ of our seas and rivers, which is an asset in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing”. Moreover, in its article 21 the text acknowledges the “social, economic, and environmental significance of recreational angling for rural and local communities”.

The report calls for greater action for the restoration of nature and of rivers connectivity. It recalls that infrastructural obstacles are one of the most detrimental factors causing eel mortality and that concrete measures have not yet been sufficiently taken by Member States. In that perspective, the text calls for the removal of obsolete obstacles. In addition, it underlines that alternatives exist and allow hydropower stations and water pumps to be fish-passable. In other words, solutions exist and are yet to be used to mitigate those threats for eels.

However, the Parliament’s report fails to call for the Council of the EU (Member States) to follow the scientific advice of ICES 1 concerning fishing opportunities for 2024 which would allow the stock to recover. Indeed, ICES has called one more year for zero catches in all habitats and for all life stages but Member States have adopted on 12 December 2023 a temporary eel fishing closure for the commercial fisheries for 2024 instead.

“The EAA is concerned about the Council’s decision to continue not taking into consideration the very clear scientific advice. Anglers are ready to take their share of the effort, but strong action is needed to restore ecosystems and recover eels in Europe.” commented Mark Owen EAA Board member.


You can read here the European Parliament’s report.

You can read here the EAA position statement on the rebuilding of the European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) stock.



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