Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Will the eel survive its management?

07.06.2011
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.

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.

Contact at the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment: Henrik Svedäng, docent in marine biology at the University of Gothenburg. henrik.svedang@havsmiljoinstitutet.se +46 (0)31 7866 645, +46 (0)70 3536 804

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:
http://www.gu.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling
07.12.2016 | National Centre for Biological Sciences

nachricht Transforming plant cells from generalists to specialists
07.12.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

NTU scientists build new ultrasound device using 3-D printing technology

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

The balancing act: An enzyme that links endocytosis to membrane recycling

07.12.2016 | Life Sciences

How to turn white fat brown

07.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>