The Endangered Eel


The European eel (Anguilla anguilla) is a critically endangered fish, but we still have it in our waters and we can act now to save this unique fish. The decline of the species is so radical that scientist have called for a complete ban for all fisheries and to reduce all human induced mortality to zero. The eel stock is one single stock on the planet and they all start and end their lives in the same place, the Sargasso Sea in the south west corner of the north Atlantic. The amount of young fish actually reaching the Baltic waters after its first years in the Atlantic has declined by 99%!

Map eel migratory route

Eel and the Sargasso Sea

CCB considers that active and legal fishery is highly questionable and that the known illegal fishery must be stopped. In fact CCB questions the fishery from a legal perspective as under the Common Fisheries Policy all stocks must be fished at MSY or Maximum Sustainable Yield and the eel is very far from that point. According to the rules all emergency measures including total ban of all fisheries is the appropriate measure in this case.

Furthermore, eel was in 2015 as the first fish ever included in the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS Convention or “Bonn Convention”) requiring Contracting Parties to take further and effective steps to secure the migration of the eel. CCB proposes to start by making sure that out migrating eels from the Baltic are secured and that all fishery therefore must be halted during that period.

CCB has made a short leaflet about eel translated to several languages. The English version can be downloaded here.

Latvian version here

Lithuanian version here

Russian version here

Polish version here

German version here

Biodiversity and nature conservation


English, German, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Russian