lørdag den 23. januar 2010

Save the Eel – Eat More Eels

May I start the "tenners" by telling the tale of the two threatened species: The Eel & the Eel Business.

It is common knowledge that the Eel is a species under pressure for many reasons: destruction of habitats, too much fishing, pollution, climate change etc.

The logical consequence is that the Eel business; as well eel farmers as eel fishers are under great pressure too. Lately, some Green NGO's, Greenpeace & WWF, has campaigned against the eel, and has "persuaded" many European Supermarkets to remove the eels from their coolers, which will destroy the business base for a small but, sympathetic community.

The bottom-line is that the survival of the eel is as dependent on an ongoing eel business, as the business is dependent on the survival of the eel.

Eel survival demands a huge effort. Habitats need to be reconstructed, may sizes of eels need to be released in nature to restore stocks, and last but not least: "The Riddle of the Eel" must be solved, i.e. the development of advanced technology for artificial reproduction.

The Eel is absolutely not on the top on anyone's list of "popular" threatened species like furry animals with baby eyes, and the political interest for using money and time on this specific issue will consequently be very low. If well-meaning Green NGO's succeed in removing eel from the market, the eel will disappear from anyone's agenda, and eel survival will be a matter of pure luck

The eel farmers have already impacted very positively on nature and environment. The eel farmers have been pioneers in developing the Recirculated Aquaculture Systems, which are providing the Danish trout production with a better future. The Danish eel farmers stand firmly behind and are actively contributing to the eel reproduction project, which now has set a world record by keeping eel larvae alive for 14 days. And the eel farmers are supplying the seedlings used for restocking.

If the eel business disappears, the reproduction project will be discontinued and there will be no eels for restocking. The future for the European eel will indeed be very bleak.

Danish Aquaculture is making an appeal to the green NGO's and to supermarkets to review their decisions and start selling European eels again. In return the Danish aquaculture business together with our European colleagues will continue the hard effort for solving the "Riddle of the Eel", and we will make sure that for every kilogram of glaseels used for farming, will be released so many viable seedlings that eel survival will increase in proportion to the consumption of eels.

Let's join forces with the European society at large and save as well the eels as the eel business.

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