Initiatives for the preservation of European eel (Anguilla anguilla)

Artificial reproduction of European eel has not yet been successful in scalable volumes. Thus, farming of European eel entirely depends on wild-caught starting material: glass eels. For various reasons, the supply of glass eel is insecure. This has a decisive impact not only on eel farming but also on the eel population in inland waters all over Europe. Various initiatives are ongoing to support the imperative preservation of European eel, including CITES, SEG, ESF, ESA, DUPAN and IFEA. BioMar and European eel farmers welcome these initiatives.

Anguilla anguilla

CITES - The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

In 2009, the European eel was included in the CITES Appendix II to ensure trade of this commercially important species was sustainable. Species listed in CITES Appendix II are NOT necessarily threatened with extinction, but trade of these species must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.

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SEG - Sustainable Eel Group

The Sustainable Eel Group is a pan-European organization dedicated to eel conservation and works under scientific guidance. SEG works with partner institutions and people to accelerate the replenishment of the eel stock. SEG is the owner of the SEG Standard, which sets the criteria for responsible and best practice fishing, aquaculture, restocking, consumption and trade of eel.

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ESF - Eel Stewardship Fund

The Eel Stewardship Fund is established to help finance a large number of activities that contribute to the recovery of the eel stocks in European inland waterways and coastal lagoons. These activities include the restoration of the eel’s lifecycle, which was disrupted by human activities during the last decades. The fund is used to move glass eels and juvenile eels from places where they would not survive and restock them in selected healthy waterbodies. There, the fingerlings can grow to healthy spawners. The fund also enables the support of the trap and transport of migrating silver eels, so the adult eels can swim unharmed back to their spawning ground. Producers of eel with a licence for the ESF are allowed to use the ESF-logo on their packaging and marketing communication means.

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ESA - Eel Stewardship Association

The Eel Stewardship Association is founder of the Eel Stewardship Fund and owner of the ESF trademark.

The main goal is to accelerate the eel’s recovery in Europe and adopting measure to ensure sustainable use of the stock. The members of ESA receive money from the Eel Stewardship Fund that was generated by the logo licences. Eel sold with the logo adds to the fund in the respective countries. Also grants and gifts raise the fund. Thanks to the Sustainable Eel Fund, the ESA-members are able to finance a vast number of conservation activities for the eel. Including the Europe wide conservation body SEG.

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DUPAN – Duurzame Palingsector Nederland (Sustainable Eel Sector of the Netherlands)

The DUPAN Foundation takes measures that contribute to a sustainable replenishment of eel stocks in Dutch and European inland waters. In addition, DUPAN works on sustainable solutions for catching and rearing eels as well as on environmentally and animal-friendly processes and promotes scientific research into eels. In this way, the DUPAN Foundation strives for a sustainable preservation of the Dutch eel and the eel industry.

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IFEA - Initiative zur Förderung des Europäischen Aals (Initiative for the promotion of the European eel)

IFEA is the German association of eel traders and eel farmers. The aim of this foundation is to preserve the European eel. It takes on tasks that contribute to the sustainable preservation of eel stocks in German and European inland waters. In addition, IFEA works on sustainable solutions for catching and rearing eels as well as on environmentally and animal-friendly processes and also promotes scientific research into eels. In this way, the foundation strives for a sustainable preservation of the eel and the eel industry in Germany.

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BioMar and European eel farmers welcome the above initiatives.