The European eel population has declined dramatically since the 1970s. Today, the size of the population is 1-10 per cent of previous levels. Many factors have contributed to this decline, including changes in marine environments, pollution, parasites, over-fishing and migration barriers. Despite joint efforts, such as the EU’s recovery plan and national management plans, the eel population shows no signs of recovery. There is a lack of both regional coherence in recovery efforts due to EU regulations, and of transparency from eel management plants due to language barriers and data deficiencies.
BALTEEL-RECO, Baltic Sea eel recovery from an ecosystem perspective
The goal of our project BALTEEL-RECO is to promote a more coordinated approach to eel recovery in Sweden, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. The project started in 2021 and is led by FishSec with partners in Estonia (Eestimaa Looduse Fond), Latvia (Pasaules Dabas Fonds) and Lithuania (Lietuvos gamtos fondas). The project wants to promote a coordinated approach to eel recovery in the Baltic Sea region. For this purpose, we have analysed the effectiveness of national eel management plans and restocking practices. The main activities have been translation, analysis and discussion of the national eel management plans in the four countries, and to collect and analyse restocking practices.
As part of BALTEEL-RECO, FishSec and Naturskyddsföreningen held Swedish roundtable meetings in Gothenburg (May 2022) and Stockholm (November 2022). Read more here (in Swedish).
During the final phase of the BALTEEL-RECO project, which will end in March 2023, we are working on a report on Restocking in the four countries as well as a Policy Brief on the analysis of the Eel management Plans.
European Eel Alliance
FishSec has also established a much larger pan-European network working for eel recovery in the more informal European Eel Alliance, with several other partners in the Baltic Sea region.
Watch our webinars on European eel on YouTube
- Webinar: Restocking of European Eel 26 April 2022
- Webinar: Save our Eel Webinar – Good Fish Foundation and FishSec 2021