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In the discharge of its primary objectives, which are to promote improvements in inland fisheries and to advise Member Governments and FAO on inland fishery matters and, specifically, in the exercise of one of its functions, i.e., to assist in the collection and dissemination of pertinent information, the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC) at the request of Ireland (FI/EIFAC 68/SC I-7) introduced the agenda item Biology and Management of Eels at the Fifth Session (Rome, May 1968). Questions of international cooperation in this subject were discussed at length by an ad hoc Working Party of Sub-Commission I. On its advice the Commission recommended:

Recommendation 68/6 - that Member Countries directly interested in this topic give consideration to the holding of a meeting of appropriate experts to pursue the eel study.

At the Sixth Session of EIFAC (Krakow, Poland, May 1970) following the review of Dr. Deelder's (Netherlands), “Synopsis of Biological Data on the Eel” which was presented to EIFAC Sixth Session (Krakow, Poland, May 1970) and in agreement with Recommendation 68/6, the Commission recommended:

Recommendation 70/5 - that a consultation be organized on eel fishing gear and techniques at Hamburg in October 1970 to be followed by a report on this topic. Mr. C.J. McGrath (Ireland) has been designated Convener for this Consultation.

The meeting was convened on 10–17 October 1970 by Mr. C.J. McGrath (Ireland) at Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei, Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany, at the kind invitation of its Präsidierender Direktor Professor Dr. K. Tiews. Professor Dr. A. v. Brandt, Direktor at the Institut für Fangtechnik of the Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei, kindly consented to act as Host and Local Organizer.

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