On December 17th and 18th 2018 the EU Fisheries Council (AGRIFISH) will decide on fishing opportunities for 2019 and will address measures for critically endangered European eel. ICES has yet again repeated their advice that: “all anthropogenic impacts (e.g. caused by recreational and commercial fishing on all stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) that decrease production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to – or kept as close to – zero as possible in 2019” [ICES Advice 7th November 2018].
We call upon the EU Commission and Member States to act accordingly in light of this advice, the same advice ICES has given for over 15 years. Last year’s Fisheries Council, agreeing on the urgency to improve the stock status and acknowledging that eel do fall under CFP and the TAC and quota regulation, decided to create a 3-month closure period for eel and agreed on a Declaration that among a number of points specifically notes:
[…]”Understanding that the recovery of the stock requires measures in all natural eel habitats in the EU and during all stages of the eel life-cycle from the glass eel to the silver eel stage.”
Considering the content and intention of the Declaration and the scientific advice showing no recovery for the eel stock, the active fishery on all life stages of eel must be phased out until the eel stock has recovered.
We therefore ask the Commission and Member States to:
- list eel under prohibited species in the TAC and quota regulation decision, a prohibition valid in all EU waters and on all life stages of eel.
prohibit all recreational fishing in all waters of the critically endangered eel, starting summer 2019 to give sufficient time to inform the public of such a ban.