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REPORT OF THE CONSULTATION

(Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany, 10–17 October 1970)

by

C.J. McGrath (Convener)
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Fisheries Division, Dublin, Ireland

1. OBJECTIVES AND ORGANIZATION OF THE CONSULTATION

At its Sixth Session (Krakow, Poland, May 1970), the European Inland Fisheries Advisory Commission (EIFAC) endorsed the recommendation of Sub-Commission I at the Fifth Session (Rome, Italy, May 1968) for “a meeting of appropriate experts to pursue the eel study” and directed “that a consultation be organized on eel fishing gear and techniques at Hamburg in October 1970 to be followed by a report on the topic”.

In accordance with this decision, the meeting of interested experts took place in the Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei, Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany from 10–17 October 1970 by courtesy of the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany. The following countries were represented:

Denmark
Federal Republic of Germany
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Netherlands
Sweden
United Kingdom

Mr. J.L. Gaudet, Assistant-Secretary to EIFAC, represented the Commission. There were two observers from Canada. The List of Participants is given in Appendix 27.

Technical papers were also submitted by Greece and Poland which were not represented at the consultation. Two papers submitted at the Fifth Session of EIFAC were also reviewed.

At the invitation of EIFAC, Mr. C.J. McGrath (Ireland) acted as Convener for the Consultation and Professor Dr. A. v. Brandt (Federal Republic of Germany) kindly agreed to act as Host and Local Organizer.

At the invitation of the Convener, Mr. C.I.D. Moriarty (Ireland) and Mr. D. O'Leary (Ireland) consented to act as Rapporteurs for the Consultation.

The Consultation was opened with an address of welcome by Professor Dr. K. Tiews, Präsidierender Direktor der Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei. See Appendix 1.

The Consultation consisted of two and a half days of formal discussion. Each paper was presented by the author or his representative and illustrated in some cases by the projection of a film or slides. In the absence of the author or his representative, the paper was presented on his behalf by the Convener. To each paper is appended the salient points of the discussion on it. The papers are given in Appendixes 3 to 25.

Study tours of eel fishing operations took place on 14, 15 and 16 October 1970. In the course of these, the (Appendix 26) experts observed practical demonstrations of various kinds of eel fishing techniques. They also had the opportunity of discussing the gear and fishing techniques with the operators who very kindly made themselves available for this purpose and cooperated wholeheartedly.

2. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The final meeting took place in the Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei on 17 October. Various matters discussed in the course of the formal Consultation and during the study tours were reviewed and the following conclusions and recommendations were put forward for consideration by the Commission at its Seventh Session. These were:

Recommendation No. 1

As the papers presented at the Consultation comprise a valuable source of practical information about eel fishing gear and techniques, it was recommended that these, together with a summary of the salient points of the discussion on each, should be incorporated in the Report of the Consultation which should be published as soon as practicable after the Consultation and distributed to diffuse more widely the information available. Thereafter this document should be presented officially at the Seventh Session of EIFAC in 1972.

Recommendation No. 2

That in due course at an appropriate time a further Consultation of experts be convened to consider the following aspects of the subject, which were not discussed during the Consultation due to lack of time. These are:

  1. The food of eels
  2. Intensive pond culture of eels with supplemental feeding with or without artificially heated water supply
  3. Eel processing
  4. Eel storage
  5. Long distance transport of eels by sea and by land
  6. Eel population studies

Recommendation No. 3

The delegates concluded from their discussions that there is urgent need for basic research into the reaction of eels to certain stimuli such as abrupt changes in water velocity, vibration and sound. In the interest of further development in eel fishing gear they recommend that Governments encourage research on these subjects.

Recommendation No. 4

The delegates noted with concern the evidence of declining eel catches due to over-exploitation of yellow eel stocks as practised in certain situations such as inshore fisheries which are open to the public, where no direct responsibility rests on those exploiting the eel stocks. To safeguard them against over-exploitation it recommended that Governments consider urgently the necessity of introducing and enforcing regulations and to limit the catch of eels to the maximum sustainable level in the interests of the fishermen, themselves, and to prevent the collapse of the fishery.

Recommendation No. 5

The delegates noted with great interest the Hungarian report on recent developments of eel fisheries in that country which followed massive stocking with elvers of large areas of inland water barren of eels in the past and recommend that the opportunity these afforded to study the age of eels be availed of.

3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The participants in the Consultation requested that appreciation and thanks to all who made the Consultation possible and contributed to its success be recorded.

To the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany for the invitation extended to hold this meeting in Hamburg and for making the study tours possible.

To the Präsidierender Direktor of the Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei, Professor Dr. K. Tiews, for kindly making the Conference Halls available and for providing the facilities necessary to mount the extensive display of eel fishing gear which had been arranged in conjunction with the Consultation and formed a very important adjunct to it.

To Professor Dr. A.V. Brandt, Direktor at the Institut für Fangtechnik of the Bundesforschungsanstalt für Fischerei, for the excellent manner in which all arrangements were made, both for the meeting and the study tours and for the generous manner he made himself and his staff available to ensure the success of the Consultation.

To the following eel fishery owners who welcomed the delegates to their establishments and have been unsparing in their time and efforts to ensure that the maximum benefit would be derived by the delegates from the inspection of their facilities.

Mr. W. Dobberschütz
Nienburg/Weser
Weserwall 14

Mr. Brauer
Landesbergen/Weser

Mr. Schweer
Fa. Schweer and Kuckuck
Steinhude am Meer

Mr. Willy Wichmann
Heiligenhafen
Danziger Strasse 14

Mr. Wilcken
Plön/Holstein

To the fishing gear manufacturers and eel fishery owners who supplied the eel fishing gear on display in the Conference Hall. A detailed list of Exhibitors is attached as Appendix 28, and, finally,

to the Rapporteurs for the Consultation - Mr. C.I.D. Moriarty and Mr. D. O'Leary.


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