The European Eel has a wide geographic range from Northern Norway to North Africa and the Mediterranean. Mature fish migrate thousands of miles to the Sargasso Sea, south of Bermuda to spawn. There is significant concern regarding the status of Anguilla anguilla, due to a decline in recruitment, population and escapement of the species over the past four decades.
The species is already listed as "Critically Endangered" on the IUCN Red List and is on Appendix II of CITES. European Union legislation was adopted in 2007 to ensure all Member States would develop Eel Management Plans. In 2014, as proposed by the Government of Monaco, the species was listed on CMS Appendix II, "having a conservation status which would significantly benefit from international co-operation".
The first meeting of Range States and experts was held in Galway, Ireland in late 2016 and identified some initial steps to be taken. In addition, at CMS COP12 the parties adopted a proposal for a Concerted Action for the species.
The second meeting of Range States was held in Malmö, Sweden in May 2018. The meeting agreed that:
‘there is a potential for international cooperation to address gaps and challenges in European Eel conservation. In this context, the CMS as a global mechanism could address many of these issues. Based on the above modalities, there is a potential for CMS to begin consultations on setting up such a mechanism for more coordinated and comprehensive European Eel conservation. A negotiation process for strengthening international cooperation should take into consideration ongoing reviews of European Eel policies, including those taking place in the EU, the GFCM, CITES, IUCN and ICES. Consideration should also be taken of the need to reinforce action as soon as possible given the species’ Critically Endangered conservation status.’
This 3rd meeting will begin to discuss a draft text of a possible instrument. Participants should be knowledgeable on policy matters, while an understanding of the scientific aspects of eel management within your country would be an advantage.