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Management of the eel is slipping through our hands! Distribute control and orchestrate national protection

Dekker, Willem (2016). Management of the eel is slipping through our hands! Distribute control and orchestrate national protection. ICES journal of marine science. 73 :10 , 2442-2452
[Research article]

[img] PDF - Accepted Version

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsw094


Following a multi-decadal decline of the European eel stock all across the continent, the EU adopted a protection and recovery plan in 2007, known as the Eel Regulation. Implementation, however, has come to a standstill: in 2015, the agreed goals had not been realised, the required protection had not been achieved, and from 2012 to 2015, no further reduction in mortality has been accomplished-while the stock is at a historical minimum. To analyse this manifest impasse, this article characterises the steering framework of the Eel Regulation as a governance problem. The Eel Problem is found to be extremely complex, due to many knowledge uncertainties and countless societal forces having an influence. The Eel Regulation divides this complexity along geographical lines, obliging national governments to implement national protection plans. This deliberate distribution of control has improved communication between countrymen-stakeholders, and has stimulated protective action in most EU Member States and elsewhere. In the absence of adequate international coordination and feedback on national plans, however, coherence is lacking and the common goals are not met. Actions and achievements have been assessed at the national level, but these assessments have not been evaluated internationally. Full geographical coverage has not been attained, nor is that plausible in future. Meanwhile, ICES' advice remained focused on whole-stock management, a conservative approach not matching the structure of the Eel Problem or the approach of the Eel Regulation. Hence, essentially localised problems (non-reporting, insufficient action) now lead to a hard fail, paralysing the whole European eel recovery plan. Here, I argue that immediate re-focusing protective actions, assessments, evaluations and advice on mortality goals and indicators, for each management area individually, will enable feedback on national protection plans, and in that way, will break the impasse.

Authors/Creators:Dekker, Willem
Title:Management of the eel is slipping through our hands! Distribute control and orchestrate national protection
Series Name/Journal:ICES journal of marine science
Year of publishing :2016
Page range:2442-2452
Number of Pages:11
Publisher:Oxford University Press
Associated Programs and Other Stakeholders:SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Coastal and sea areas
SLU - Environmental assessment > Programme Lakes and watercourses
Publication Type:Research article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Accepted version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:M Aquatic sciences and fisheries > M40 Aquatic ecology
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Fish and Aquacultural Science
Keywords:Anguilla, distributed control, European eel, feedback, governance, hard fail, impasse, mortality limits, protection, uncertainty
Permanent URL:
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000402376300002
Alternative URL:https://academic.oup.com/icesjms/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/icesjms/fsw094
ID Code:14397
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Department of Aquatic Resources
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:12 Sep 2017 10:46
Metadata Last Modified:12 Sep 2017 10:46

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