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Fishing ban extended to help ease dire eel population


In a bid to ease the ‘dire’ state of the population of silver and glass eels across Europe a ban on fishing for the species has been extended from three months to six.

The ban applies to anglers and professional fishermen fishing from both the shore and at sea. Sportvisserij Nederland reports that the eel population in Europe is in a critical state. “That is why inland waterways and sea fishing in the Netherlands is already closed for three months a year.

“The new ban includes the current closed period from September to November and three additional months. Nothing will change for sportfishing as fishing organisers decided in 2009 to introduce an obligation to release eels,” said Sportvisserij Nederland in an online post.

It added that data showed that the growth of young eels (glass eels) remains dramatically low. In the North Sea it was at its lowest ever last year. Despite the recovery measures agreed at EU level in 2007, no significant progress has been made in the recovery of the eel population since then.

While scientists have been advocating zero catches in all habitats and for all purposes since 2003, only Ireland and Slovenia have so far imposed a total ban on eel fishing. The European Commission ban applies to waters in the north east Atlantic (including the Baltic Sea) and in the Mediterranean (including the Black Sea).

Picture: Sportvisserij Nederland

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