Inland Fisheries

Report of the second session of the Joint EIFAC/ICES Working Group on Eel. IJmuiden, the Netherlands, 23-27 September 1996. EIFAC Occasional Paper. No. 33.

Managing inland fisheries

The Second Session of the Joint EIFAC/ICES Working Group on Eel took place from 23 to 27 September 1996, in IJmuiden, the Netherlands. The Session was attended by 41 participants from 29 countries, including 23 European countries as well as Australia, Canada, China, New Zealand, Taiwan and USA. Altogether, 32 papers were presented and 7 posters exhibited. Presentations and discussions covered a wide range of research on the eel, with particular reference to recruitment, contamination, parasitic infestation and fisheries and their effects on stock and yield. The downward trend in recruitment and yield in the whole distribution area of the species elicited a discussion on the need for supra-national management of the stock and the possible application of the precautionary principle. A discussion on oceanographical matters concluded that information on physical oceanography and on the ocean stages of the eel was insufficient to allow any conclusions to be drawn. Recommendations were made to restrict further expansion of fisheries and to maintain the supply of stocking material at its prevailing levels. In adddition, importation of exotic eels should be fully controlled to prevent the introduction of further parasites. Finally, it was recommended to maintain existing monitoring programmes and to supplement the anticipated Management Plan with a scheme for monitoring and research.