Eel Monitoring Programme

In response to advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) that the European eel (Anguilla anguilla L.) is endangered and that the fishery is unsustainable the EC regulation establishing measures for the recovery of the European eel (Council Regulation 11000/2007) was created.

Latest Advice...

Latest Advice

The latest advice from International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) recommends that anthropogenic mortality on eel production and escapement should be reduced to, or kept as close to, zero as possible.

You can find more information on ICES’s advice on eels in 2016 here:

Summary from the Working Group on Eel (WGEEL)

Summary of the Working Group which consists of representatives/ members of the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), European Inland Fisheries & Aquaculture Advisory Commission (EIFAAC) and General Fisheries Commission of the Mediterranean (GFCM):

In 2016, the Working Group on Eel (WGEEL) glass eel recruitment indices remain low at 2.7% of the 1960–1979 reference level in the ‘North Sea’ series, and 10.7% in the ‘Elsewhere’ series. The ‘recruiting yellow eel’ index was 21% of the level during the reference period.

The Eel Management Plan silver eel biomass and mortality rate estimates (reported in 2015) indicate the stock in the EU-assessed area is not within the biomass limits of the Eel Regulation and in most management units, anthropogenic mortality exceeds a level that can be expected to lead to recovery.

WGEEL attempts to cross-check glass eel catch with records of their fate (consumption, restocking and aquaculture) reveal major discrepancies between reporting systems.  About 32% of the catch for 2015 has no recorded fate (about 36% for 2016). The lack of transparency in glass eel markets and movements is a cause for concern; far too high a proportion of the catch goes to ‘unaccounted for’ destinations and as such has to be considered as a total loss to the stock. Read the report of the Working Group on Eels here: