Pressemeddelande från WWF; välkomnar utökat skydd för ålen - men totalstopp krävs

13 December, 2022

During last night’s nightly meeting in Brussels, EU fisheries ministers voted in favour of a ban on recreational fishing for eel and an extension of the fishing ban from three to six months. WWF welcomes the decision but is critical of the fact that countries can choose their own time period. Sweden’s eel fishery is one of the largest in the EU.

– The scientific advice is very clear – no eel fishery can be considered sustainable, contrary to what Sweden’s Minister for Rural Affairs Peter Kullgren claims. We must do everything we can to stop the mortality of this critically endangered species. In addition to the fishing ban, the Swedish government needs to invest in restoring lost habitats and creating free migration routes,” says Inger Melander, WWF’s fisheries and markets expert.

The Commission put forward a clear proposal to protect eel migration at its peak. After intense pressure from Member States, it is difficult to judge how effective the complex agreement agreed by ministers is.

The agreement leaves many loopholes. One clear weakness is that the Member States can choose when to place their national eel fishing closures, for example when it benefits the industry and not the eel,” says Inger Melander.

ICES (International Council for the Exploration of the Sea) has tightened the eel recommendation to “zero catch in all habitats by 2023”. The advice covers all life stages of eels and all fisheries, including catches of glass eels for restocking and aquaculture. Other human-caused mortality of eels should be minimised and removed where possible.

Text: WWF
Photo: Erling Svensen, WWF

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