Inland Fisheries

Report of the Joint EIFAAC/ICES Working Group on Eels (WGEEL), 18– 22 March 2013 in Sukarietta, Spain, 4–10 September 2013 in Copenhagen, Denmark. ICES CM 2013/ACOM:18. 253 pp.

Managing inland fisheries

The Joint EIFAAC/ICES WGEEL met in March 2013 in AZTI Sukarrieta, Spain. The group was chaired by Martin de Graaf (NL) and Russell Poole (IE) and there were twenty nine participants present at the meeting from thirteen countries. The Joint EIFAAC/ICES WGEEL met in September 2013 in ICES HQ Copenhagen, Denmark. The group was chaired by Martin de Graaf (NL) and Alan Walker (UK) and there were thirty one participants present at the meeting from fifteen countries. ICES has provided advice on eel since 1999. Following long-term declines in recruits (e.g. glass eel since 1980, yellow eel since 1960s) and landings (since 1960s), the urgent compilation of a management plan was recommended aiming at a recovery of the international stock. Suggested eel-specific management targets were based on precautionary reasoning and general considerations. In 2007, the EU adopted the Eel Regulation, which led to the development of Eel Management Plans by 2009. Implementation of these plans between 2009 and 2012 has generated more data, and further research studies have been executed. Reporting to the EU in 2012 by Member States on their post-evaluation of the implementation of the first three years of the Regulation enabled the first compilation of the implemented management actions and the stock indicators. The Terms of Reference for the 2012 and 2013 WGEEL were framed with this approach in mind. In March, the data, management measures descriptions and updates reported by the Member States in the 2012 EMP Progress Reports were collated. These were updated and cross-checked using the ICES Data Call and the best available information was reviewed. Databases on stock indicators and on management measures were compiled and these were made available to the 2013 EMP Progress Report Technical Review Workshop in May (Workshop Evaluation of the Progress of the Eel Management Plans (WKEPEMP)). Of the 81, Eel Management Plans (EMP) evaluated by WKEPEMP 2013, 38 did not provide the full suite of indicators. Other issues discovered during the review of the data included the double banking or double neglect and even the provided stock indicators were often incomplete and inconsistent (i.e. countries ignoring whole habitats (e.g. tidal, transitional waters)).