Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Will European eel survive its management?

Date:
June 7, 2011
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
The European eel is on the way to disappearing for good. The species is critically endangered, and there are strong scientific arguments for suspending all fishing. Despite this situation, Swedish eel fishery is allowed to continue. Analysis of the eel management plan identifies clear shortcomings. It is unlikely that Sweden will meet the target that has been set for silver eels capable of migrating back to the Sargasso Sea so that they can contribute to regeneration.

The European eel is on the way to disappearing for good. The species is critically endangered, and there are strong scientific arguments for suspending all fishing. Despite this situation, Swedish eel fishery is allowed to continue. Analysis of the eel management plan by the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment identifies clear shortcomings. It is unlikely that Sweden will meet the target that has been set for silver eels capable of migrating back to the Sargasso Sea so that they can contribute to regeneration.

Related Articles


The recruitment of new annual cohorts of European eel has decreased over a long period, and today it represents only a few per cent of what it was 30 to 50 years ago. The eel is particularly sensitive to overfishing, as it becomes sexually mature at an advanced age, but there also other reasons for its decline. The International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) has long warned of the consequences of the ongoing population decline, and since 1998 the Council has recommended that an eel management plan should be adopted at the European level. Since 2007, the European Commission has also required all eel-fishing Member States to develop a plan to reduce eel mortality caused by human activity. In Sweden, the Swedish Board of Fisheries has been tasked by the Government with taking responsibility for a national eel management plan.

Many measures are listed under the plan: prohibition of recreational fishing for eel, special professional fishing licences for eel, modified fishing times, closure of yellow eel fishing on the west coast and increased stockings of juvenile eels. There is also a declaration of intent by the Swedish Board of Fisheries together with six power companies to reduce mortality due to eels being sucked into the turbines of hydropower plants.

The analysis of the Swedish eel management plan by the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment identifies a number of shortcomings. Some of these are listed below:

  • There is a clear conflict between conserving the eel as a species and preserving the eel fishery. The management is aimed at "mitigating" the adverse effects of eel fishery and other human activity instead of guaranteeing that the conservation target is met. By comparison, both Norway and Ireland have introduced a complete suspension of all eel fishery so that migration back to the Sargasso Sea will increase.
  • The material on which the plan is based is deficient and lacks critical scrutiny. There is uncertainty in stock assessment which has not been taken into account. There is therefore a great risk of overestimating the size of the stock and continuing to over-exploit.
  • The operationalisation of targets as requirements and measures is inadequate -- the gains considered to be made from stockings, fishery regulation and reduced turbine mortality are based more on hope than on solid data. Implementation of the plan takes place or is intended to take place over a very long period of time. Even if the plan is eventually followed, it is unlikely that 2.6 million silver eels will be able to migrate, which is Sweden's target. This is due among other things to relatively extensive eel fishery still being permitted and uncertain results from the stocking of Swedish waters with French and British juvenile eels; the eel may be disoriented and it is doubtful whether it will find its way back to the Sargasso Sea to spawn.

Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "Will European eel survive its management?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607112342.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2011, June 7). Will European eel survive its management?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 27, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607112342.htm
University of Gothenburg. "Will European eel survive its management?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110607112342.htm (accessed January 27, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

How To: Mixed Green Salad Topped With Camembert Cheese

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) Learn how to make a mixed green salad topped with a pan-seared camembert cheese in only a minute! Music: Courtesy of Audio Network. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Water Fleas Prepare for Space Voyage

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 26, 2015) Scientists are preparing a group of water fleas for a unique voyage into space. The aquatic crustaceans, known as Daphnia, can be used as a miniature model for biomedical research, and their reproductive and swimming behaviour will be tested for signs of stress while on board the International Space Station. Jim Drury went to meet the team. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Husky Puppy Plays With Ferret

Rumble (Jan. 26, 2015) It looks like this 2-month-old Husky puppy and the family ferret are going to be the best of friends. Look at how much fun they&apos;re having together! Credit to &apos;Vira&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Scientists Model Flying, Walking Drone After Vampire Bats

Buzz60 (Jan. 26, 2015) Swiss scientists build a new drone that can both fly and walk, modeling it after the movements of common vampire bats. Jen Markham (@jenmarkham) has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins