Accelerating the recovery of the European Eel

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Well attended eel conference in Germany

The German eel-organization, Initiative zur Förderung des Europäischen Aales e.V. (IFEA), organized a successful eel-conference in Potsdam, close to Berlin. Scientists, NGO’s, Government and industry …

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Germany Launches Eel Stewardship Fund

The German organization for the eel industry, Initiative zur Förderung des Europäischen Aals e.V. (IFEA), has started an eel fund. The International Eel Stewardship Fund® …

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Stop illegal trade and boost restocking

Last week The Guardian wrote an article about the large-scale, illegal European eel-trade. Every year tens of millions of juvenile eels disappear to Asia. Since …

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Guardian Environment blog on eel fishery

Guardians blogger Emma Bryce wrote a blog about the European eel fishery and how it is beset by illegal trade. Bryce spoke with Andrew Kerr …

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New evidence published showing hydropower mortality and importance of translocation in Sweden

Hydropower turbines are largest cause of eel mortality in Sweden Most freshwater eels in Swedish waterways have been transported in from UK and France Critical …

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Ellie meets the Elvermen - BBC Countryfile looks at eel sustainability

Ellie H 4

The importance of sustainable eel practices was discussed in depth on the BBC’s flagship Countryfile show this week.   Presenter Ellie Harrison joined elvermen, the …

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Eel heroes recognised at SEG’s 5th anniversary conference

eel otter

Five leading figures behind the development and progress of the sustainable eel movement were recognised during the SEG 5th Anniversary conference at Fishmonger’s Hall this …

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Despair turns to hope - European eel leaders told at SEG 5th Anniversary


The significant increases in elver recruitment in recent years, and the accelerating support for sustainability across Europe, are giving renewed hope for the eel - …

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BBC discuss eel migration

SEG BBC March 2015

The BBC have again been out filming the work of SEG, this time discussing the great eel migration to Europe and the issues of blocked …

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ICES – ‘Fishery at current level probably has little direct influence on aquatic ecosystems’

ICES has reported three years in a row of increasing glass eel recruitment and illustrates that in the 2013 – 2014 season the levels attained …

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EU Commission report: “Address the Environmental Issues for eel recovery”

The latest European Commission report to the Council and European Parliament makes a strong call for further attention on environmental actions for the eel.

Published on 21 October 2014 it indicates that some EU members states have been slow to implement conservation measures in their Eel Management Plans, and says “More attention should be given to management measures related to non-fishing anthropogenic mortality factors”, including hydropower and pumping stations, habitat loss or degradation, pollution, diseases and parasites – “the majority of which have only been partially implemented by member states.”

The report goes on to explain the difficulties of measuring eel population and concludes that there is an urgent need ‘for solid estimates’ and a new estimation of stock indicators.

Andrew Kerr, SEG Chairman said “Following the huge increases of glass eel recruitment to the Bay of Biscay and the River Severn in 2013 and 2014, SEG believes nature has been unable to make best use of this abundance because so many natural eel migration pathways remain blocked. The translocation of 90 million plus eel in 2014 as a restocking conservation measure, whilst being highly commendable, cannot be regarded as a lasting or sustainable solution.

Overall, SEG welcomes the fact that the debate is no longer centred on fishery restrictions (we strongly believe that the best solutions for the eel’s recovery require a vibrant sustainable fishery across Europe) and that further research will be conducted to give a more accurate picture of eel populations.”

The full report is available here


OUT NEW: SEG 2014 Newsletter!


The latest SEG newsletter has just been published hereCover

It includes all the latest news about the huge recruitment of glass eels this year, SEG’s emergency relocation activities, and research updates.

We hope you enjoy reading it!

SEG Newsletter 2014


Juvenile eels swimming to new home 2

SEG has launched a major project with Bristol Avon Rivers Trust to increase the number of European Eels in the River Avon. Nearly 100,000 juvenile …

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SEG on Channel 4 ‘Food Unwrapped’

Food-unwrapped 2

This week Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped programme interviewed SEG as part of an insightful film looking at jellied eel sales in the UK. SEG took …

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UK’s east coast sees huge increase in elver numbers

Glass eels at the top of the elver pass queuing up for the final leg of their three-thousand-mile journey.
Photo Cliff Carson ref. IMG_9077

Following the huge increase in the number of elvers arriving in the UK’s western estuaries this year, reports have been published of a massive increase …

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SEG welcomes latest IUCN assessment


Welcoming the latest IUCN assessment of the European Eel, SEG Chairman Andrew Kerr said: “We are very encouraged by the IUCN’s detailed report, which finds …

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BBC film on huge increase in glass eel recruitment

Springwatch 5

A film showing the incredible increase in the number of glass eels arriving in the UK has appeared on the BBC’s flagship Springwatch programme. Having …

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Zac Goldsmith MP and Lord de Mauley support week of SEG restocking


Thousands of elvers restocked by Zac Goldsmith MP and Lord de Mauley, Environment Minister 90+ million juvenile eels rescued & re-homed across Europe   A …

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Restocking with the National Trust and Shrewsbury School

Bob Thurston of the National Trust addressed the crowds

Having caught millions of fish for restocking in the Severn and Parrett estuaries last month, we’ve been concentrating on moving them over the barriers and upriver.

Our first stop for the Severn elvers was the National Trust’s beautiful regional HQ at Attingham Park in Shropshire.

Bob Thurston of the National Trust addressed the crowds

Bob Thurston of the National Trust addressed the crowds

The National Trust team did an amazing job attracting the crowds and explaining how the number of elvers arriving in the Severn estuary this year is the biggest in 3 decades.

A hundred people - including dozens of excited youngsters - joined  the teams from SEG, the Severn Rivers Trust and the National Trust to welcome the elvers to their wonderful new home.

The youngsters loved helping the elvers!

The youngsters loved helping the elvers!

Conservation volunteers from Shrewsbury School

Conservation volunteers from Shrewsbury School

After re-homing 6,500 fish at Attingham Park we joined a team of conservation volunteers from Shrewsbury School, and thousands more fish were introduced to the Severn in front of the boathouse.

As always we had great support from the media. Our thanks to all for making a very memorable day!

Read more about it in the Shropshire Star and see the TV report on BBC Shropshire


Eels in the News: Daily Telegraph is latest to tell SEG story

April 2014 501

SEG’s restocking initiatives on the Parrett and Severn continue apace - and the media coverage continues! This morning’s Daily Telegraph has a big feature on …

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31 March - UK’s biggest ever initiative to help endangered eels

UK’s biggest ever initiative to help endangered eels starts on River Parrett on Monday night (31 March) Fishermen will try to catch 1 million baby …

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New research into European Eel predation

Important new research into predation of the European Eel Evidence on its marine migration has just been published. An abstract is below, the full report …

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New BBC film on Eel

The BBC’s Inside Out programme in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire ran an excellent film on eel this week. The show looked at the work of SEG, …

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SEG welcomes new EA paper “Delivering our Duties for Eel”

The Environment Agency has published a position paper ‘Delivering our Duties for Eel; our Ambition for Eel in England’ dated January 2014, which is available …

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Eels in the news… some recent stories from around the world

Eels have been making news all over the world recently for several different reasons, including Governments in North and Central America introducing new fishing controls. …

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Compelling research shows huge number of eels being killed by unscreened water pumps & turbines

“Pumping stations may significantly threaten escapement targets set in eel management plans” concludes a detailed study titled ‘Mortality of European eel after downstream migration through …

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“French catches offer promise of bumper year for threatened eel”

The national press in the UK have started to talk about the record numbers of glass eels that have been arriving in France recently. Articles …

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SEG 2013 Newsletter is published

All of the latest news and views on eel has been packed into the new 2013 SEG newsletter. Happy reading and have a great Christmas!

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Silver eel migration on BBC Autumnwatch

There was an excellent film on silver eel migration and the challenges of blocked migratory pathways last night on BBC Autumnwatch. Click here to link …

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The River Teme in Ludlow and surrounding waterways have received 25,000 juvenile eels in the latest SEG initiative to help eels return to abundance. On …

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Lincolnshire rivers welcome 20,000 new eels

The River Lymn and surrounding waterways welcomed 20,000 new juvenile eels yesterday as part of a major UK initiative to help eels return to abundance. …

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European eels return to River Segura, Spain

Media in Spain are reporting that eels have returned to the Segura River, South East Spain, for the first time in over 10 years. Full …

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South West kicks off major UK initiative to boost international eel population

A major £45,000 initiative to boost stocks of young eels in the UK launched at Blagdon Lake on Monday 30 September when 25,000 juvenile eels …

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Eel restocking on BBC1

The European Eel starred in the final episode of “Britain’s Big Wildlife Revival” last night on BBC1. In a programme dedicated to the UK’s Wetlands, …

Read more » “Support grows for the European Eel”

SeafoodSource contributing editor Jason Holland has examined the issues facing the European Eel. In a detailed feature, he summarises: “There are many elements conspiring against …

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European Parliament debates sustainability of eel stocks

The European Parliament today debated improvements to eel sustainability in Europe, and released the following statement:   Parliament demands tougher rules to save the European …

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SEG project praised in BBC R4 programme on Sustainability

The work of SEG members on the River Severn was described as “amazing” today by a reporter on the BBC’s flagship ‘Shared Planet’ series on …

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“Developing the Sustainable Solution” presentation published

SEG’s rapid progress and achievements were outlined to the IFM European Eel Conference in London last month.

The full presentation is now available London Eel Conference slides June 2013

London Eel Conference slides June 2013

Revised Sustainable Eel Standard launched

Details of the revised Sustainable Eel Standard have been published as momentum grows across Europe Sustainable Eel Standard June 2013

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Full content of 2013 European Eel conference is published

Following the success of the European Eel Conference in London last month, the Institute of Fisheries Management has published all of the presentations that were …

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SEG in the News: Andrew Kerr chats to Chris Evans; Ben Fogle visits the Severn Estuary for the Elver Harvest

Nearly 10 million listeners of the BBC’s Chris Evans Breakfast Show learned all about the work of the Sustainable Eel Group this morning, when Chris …

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The largest ever conference of European academics, politicians and eel specialists has concluded in London with a resounding message from delegates – that the adoption …

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-          UK Minister echoes call for more action to help eels reach crucial inland waterways -          Record migration in 2013, but tiny ‘elvers’ still face …

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SEG and MSC issue joint Q&A Statement


TRAFFIC Report: Glass eels: assessing supply chain and market impacts of a CITES listing on Anguilla species


Fishermen give One Million Elvers for Restocking May 2013

Fishermen give One Million Elvers for Restocking May 2013

31 Dutch Farms and Smokehouses are presented with their SEG Certificates

Dutch Smokers and Farmers SES-Certified

On the 9th April Andrew and David presents 31 SEG Certificates to Dutch Farms and Smokehouses as three quarters of the Dutch trade demonstrates its …

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Eel Over the Dike


  DUPAN released over 4600 eels over dikes in North Holland and Zeeland.  See their full report here:  

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Country Life Investigates the Eel

Image (21)

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‘Get the solutions flowing’ campaign launched!

Chairman, Andrew Kerr and SEG Member Alex Koelewijn were active participants in The ‘Get the solutions flowing’ campaign.  The Sustainable agenda was a high priority in the thinking of this conference.

As the loss and degradation of wetlands continues to accelerate worldwide, innovative thinking and new partnerships are needed to capitalise on the role of ecosystems as natural water infrastructure. Wetlands deliver a wider range of services and benefits than corresponding manmade infrastructure – regulating water quantity, contributing to flood regulation, and increasing resilience to storms in deltas and coastal areas. While increasingly recognised for the goods and services they provide, wetlands are too often overlooked in favour of engineered solutions like dams and dykes.

To read more, the latest newsletter of Wetlands International is available to download via the link.

Global Newsletter February 2012 v2 (1

The Wishing Eel and Other Grim Tales

Wishing Eel

Gill Macdonald has written a book entitled ‘ The Wishing Eel and Other Grim Tales’. Closely based on the Common Eel, the Wishing Eel is …

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Saving Species on BBC Radio 4

David Bunt talks to Radio 4 about the challenges facing the European Eel. You can listen to the interview here:  Saving Species

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IMPORTANT: Open Letter to members of PECH


The following letter has been sent to the 20 MEPs who make up the PECH Committee of the European Parliament: Dear (Member of  PESH - …

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Alain Crivelli reports on the value of salinity in decease control

Lefebvre & Crivelli 2012

The Rivers Trust E Newsletter

You can view the winter edition of the Rivers Trust E-Newsletter No. 24

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SEG Working Closely with French Colleagues

The SEG Chairman Andrew Kerr recently expressed support for conservation action in France. Letter to Madam le Minister: I am writing to introduce you to …

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European Aquaculture: the path for growth

European Aquaculture

The European Aquaculture Conference 2012 was held in La Coruña, Spain, on 23 November 2012. You can view presentations and proceedings from the conference by …

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Rivers Trust Living North Sea Conference

Newcastle Living North Sea Conference

The eel featured strongly at the Rivers Trust Living North Sea Conference. Important papers on eels were presented by many SEG members. See living North …

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SEG meets the Regional Environment team from Catalonia


Jo Gascoigne from MacAlister Elliott the assessment body, Pilor Vila, Rodolfo Barrera, Jesus Gomet and Jordi Peris

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Ebro Delta

Ebro Delta Spain

Spain’s famous Ebro Delta that still receives about 5 million glass eels each year – these are caught in sensitive fixed and hand nets and …

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SEG Chairman visit the German Eel Initiative October 2012


10 to 15 million eels are restocked in Germany each year. From left to right: Gert Gotting, Aal-Hof Gotting, Ronald Menzel, Dr. Uwe Brämick (ICES …

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SEG Team joins in the restoration project at the Orbatello lagoon Tuscany


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SEG BBC Countryfile


SEG and Severn and Wye Smokery Schools restocking Programme featured on BBC Country File in September 2012 with Julia Bradbury and John Craven.

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SEG on French and German TV with Sarah Wiener


SEG Chairman Andrew Kerr meets Sarah Weiner to explain the current situation regarding eels across Europe. Follow the link below to view the film on …

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Tour du Valat

Tour du Valet 013

SEG Chairman visited Tour du Valat March 2012 to meet Dr Alain Crevelli and to learn about their research into eels and Mediterranean lagoons

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Restocking in Juelsminde Fjord in Denmark

The Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Henrik Høegh restocking Juelsminde Fjord

The Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Mr Henrik Høegh restocking Juelsminde Fjord in Denmark with 80,000 fish from Royal Danish Aquaculture. The Danish Minister …

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Meet the UK Chairman!

View an interview with the UK chairman - Andrew Kerr - on the Cotswold TV website.

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Eels released in project to stem population slump

Thousands of young eels have been released into a lake at the launch of a decades-long project to save the mysterious fish from a catastrophic population slump. …

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Restocking at Llangorse

Filming for Autumn Watch

PRESS RELEASE - 25,000 juvenile eels released into Llangorse Lake The European Eel has had a difficult few decades and numbers are right down from …

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Celebrity chef gets a wriggle on to save eels from extinction

Celebrity chef Matt Tebbutt has placed tanks containing 800 eels in his Monmouthshire restaurant in a bid to preserve a fish he says is in danger …

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Guilt-free eel for diners as new eco label is unveiled

New European standard aims to put pressure on retailers and caterers to buy fish only from sustainable sources. Read the full article on the Guardian …

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Conservation sub group meeting

Conservation Sub Group Meeting

Conservation Sub Group Meeting 3rd February 2011 The Conservation sub group met on the 3rd Feb at ZSL London to review progress on the eel …

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Tagging the eel

It’s an eerie night on the Loire River, in Western France, and we’re on the trail of a mysterious fish. The eel. But after 3 …

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Sustainable Eel Group: Development of a Habitat Improvement Strategy QUESTIONNAIRE

The Sustainable Eel Group is a charitable group that has been set up with the purpose of encouraging healthy eel populations, distributed throughout their natural …

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EU COM clamps down on eel exports

The eel population in EU waters has dropped by more than 99 percent in just a few decades, and a campaign to reach 40 percent …

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Treatment of export and import implications for European eels


The decline of the eel

Our rivers once teemed with eels but each year fewer make the 3,000-mile trip to get here. Jon Henley reports on the fight to save …

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Eels assist Loch Ken crayfish fight

Eels could be given a key role in controlling the number of American signal crayfish on a Scots loch. Read the full article on the …

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Move to set standards for catching the endangered eel

A voluntary code of practice to protect eels from being overfished in Britain and the rest of Europe is expected to be in place by …

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Response from the UK Fisheries Minister

Fisheries Minsiter Response

Bypasses seal deal for eels to return to Britain

They are as fragile as their name suggests, yet glass eels survive being hurled about by terrifying storms as they evade sharp-toothed predators on a …

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Plight of eel tackled by new survey

For more than 30 years eels have taken a hammering as their migration up rivers has been blocked by a rash of concrete flood defences …

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Attempted eel breakout

Migrating Elvers

A Tewkesbury man has photographed hundreds of elvers attempting to swim up the River Severn. John de Wet noticed the young eels at the Upper …

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Eel sustainability day with Severn & Wye Smokery, UK Glass Eels and Gloucestershire

Support our British Sustainable Eel Richard Cook - Severn and Wye Smokery My boy hood memories of the spring of the year revolve around the …

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Sustainable Eel Standard Consultation

2332R01A Preliminary Report

Celebrity chef helps slippery school project

A CELEBRITY chef has taken time out from the kitchen to help Gloucester pupils with a slippery school project. Read the full article here

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Development of habitat improvement strategy

Project Proposal Create a conservation strategy with Sustainable Eel Group partners that identify habitat projects, which offer the most potential for improvement of eel escapement …

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Pro-Eel project aims for self-sustainable aquaculture

The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has coordinated a EUR 5 million research project called PRO-EEL to reproduce the European eel in captivity. Read the …

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SEG Mission to Hamburg


On the 12 and 13th May delegates from the eel aquaculture industry from across Europe met for the first time ever under the Chairmanship of …

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Paul Eccleston’s article in Fish2Fork

Paul Ecclestone from fish2fork wrote this article following a visit to the Severn 2 May 2010 A full moon brings a racing tide and racing …

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Presentation on Eel Passage

A Eel Passage IFMAPEMPresMar10BK

Response from Japanese researcher on artificial propagation

Dear Dr Brian, I offer my apologies for the delay in replying to your e-mail of April 14. We had been awfully busy because so …

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Andrew Kerr on BBC Radio 4

View the article on the BBC website, or listen to Andrew’s interview on the Today program.

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Andy Don’s article in Restaurant Magazine

M&J Seafood has delisted European eel from its catalogue in response to the species being placed on the IUCN Red List of critically endangered species. …

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Europe’s eel stocks ‘under threat’ from export fishing

A campaign to save the eel, the continent’s most threatened common freshwater fish, may be breaking down because French fishermen are exporting too many baby …

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France exports millions of baby eels to China

I am writing to you as the Chairman of the recently formed Sustainable Eel Group. We are a partnership with members drawn from leaders of …

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Environment Agency takes action to protect the beleaguered eel

THE critically endangered European eel is being given a helping hand by the Environment Agency after Parliament stepped in to encourage the species’ recovery. Read …

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The French Eel Management Plan – will there be glass eels for restocking?

The French Eel Management Plan is an important element of the European Eel’s recovery programme as France controls 90% of the supply of baby eels …

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Chairman writes to CITES

Dear CITES Member I am writing to you as the Chairman of the recently formed Sustainable Eel Group. We are a partnership with members drawn …

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Andy Don’s eel pass video footage

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