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Will the eel survive its management?
Date:6/7/2011

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  • 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.


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Contact: Henrik Svedng
henrik.svedang@havsmiljoinstitutet.se
46-031-786-6645
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert

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