General Fisheries Commission for the Mediterranean - GFCM

Sharing results of the GFCM research programme on European eel

An online webinar for the Mediterranean community and beyond.


Over the past 18 months, the GFCM research programme on European eel has made great strides towards achieving a coordinated framework for management of eel towards the preparation of a multi-annual management plan in the Mediterranean. On 23 February 2022, experts and partners gathered to share the results of this research programme with the Mediterranean community and more widely.

European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a temperate catadromous species with a wide distribution range, including coastal, transitional and inland waters of Countries in Europe and in the Mediterranean Region. It is a migratory species displaying a unique life cycle, with spawning taking place in the Sargasso Sea (N-W Atlantic) and oceanic larvae being transported by currents across the Atlantic Ocean to the coasts of the distribution range Globally, European eel decline has been recognized and interpreted as the result of a combination of natural causes and anthropogenic pressures, including fisheries,  impacting it and its habitats at different life stages.

Following Recommendation GFCM/42/2018/1 and discussions held at the 2019 GFCM Working Group on the management of European eel, the GFCM implemented a research programme in the Mediterranean. The main objective of this research programme was to devise a coordinated framework for the collection, collation and analysis of available data and for the assessment and management of the resource with a view to laying the foundations for a long-term multiannual management plan for European eel in the Mediterranean.

As the result of region-wide consultations, the research programme was executed as a concerted action achieved by joining forces with ongoing research activities and sharing expertise. It has involved nine scientific partners and nine administration focal points from as many countries. The research programme covered numerous aspects related to the biology, habitats, monitoring and data collection of the European eel population in the Mediterranean, as well as to the assessment and management of its fisheries.

View the recordings of the webinar

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 Check out our twitter thread on the first results of this research programme and stay tuned for more

9.00 - 9.10  Opening of the webinar
9.10 - 9.40

A general introduction of the GFCM research programme on European eel in the Mediterranean

  • Background and rationale
  • Structure and methods
9.40 - 10.50

Results of the research programme – Part 1

  • Eel habitats
  • Eel recruitment
  • Eel local stocks
  • Eel aquaculture


10.50 - 11.00 Break
11.00 - 12.30

Results of the research programme – Part 2

  • Eel fisheries
  • Management frameworks in place
  • Assessment and Management scenarios
  • Eel monitoring
  • Eel data collection


12.30 - 12.55 General conclusions and way forward
12.55 - 13.00 Closure of the webinar


Learn more about the research programme on European eel.