International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
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European eel

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posted on 2022-10-18, 09:51 authored by ICESICES

The status of eel remains critical and urgent action is needed. ICES reiterates its previous advice that all anthropogenic mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, hydropower, pollution) affecting production and escapement of eels should be reduced to as close to zero as possible until there is clear evidence that both recruitment and the adult stock are increasing.   Given  the  current  record-low  abundance  of  glass  eels,  ICES  reiterates  its  concern  that  glass  eel  stocking  programmes are unlikely to contribute to the recovery of the European eel stock in a substantial manner. The overall burden of proof should  be  that  stocking  will  generate  net  benefits,  in  terms  of  contributions  to  silver  eel  escapement  and  spawning  potential.  Prior  to  stocking,  or  for  continuing  existing  stocking,  a  risk  assessment  should  be  conducted,  taking  into  account fishing, holding, transport, post-stocking mortalities, and other factors such as disease and parasite transfers. To facilitate  stock  recovery  all  catches  of  glass  eel  should  be  used  for  stocking.  Stocking  should  take  place  only where survival  to  the  silver  eel  stage  is expected to  be  high  and  escapement  conditions  are good.  This  means  that  stocking  should not be used to continue fishing and stocking should only take place where all anthropogenic mortalities are low.If  suitable  biomass  and  mortality  data  are  reported  by  Member  States  in  2012  under  the  Council  Regulation  EC  No. 1100/2007 (EC, 2007),  ICES will use those to define and propose standard precautionary approach reference points.


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Period covered by advice



ICES Advice: Recurrent advice