The full text of the Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 can be viewed on the legislation.gov.uk
site, and downloaded in PDF format from there.
The European Council regulation upon which it is based is available here
. This states:
"The latest scientific advice from the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) concerning European eel is that the stock is outside safe biological limits and that current fisheries are not sustainable. ICES recommends that a recovery plan be developed for the whole stock of European eel as a matter of urgency and that exploitation and other human activities affecting the fishery or the stock be reduced as much as possible
The Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 implement Council Regulation (EC) No 1100/2007
of the Council of the European Union, establishing measures for the recovery of the stock of European eel.
The regulations apply to England and Wales. They came into force on 15th January 2010, and are to be enacted by 1st January 2015.
For the purposes of this website, the main people and businesses they apply to are:
The requirements of the regulations are:
- Licensed abstractors of water: companies or individuals abstracting and/or discharging water for a wide range of industrial, agricultural and other purposes
- Impounding works: any dam, weir, or other works by which water may be impounded
- Anyone constructing, altering or maintaining a dam, or any other structure in or near water, liable to cause an obstruction to the passage of eels.
- The requirement to notify the Environment Agency of the construction, alteration or maintenance of any structure likely to affect the passage of eels
- Where any such structure exists, the requirement to construct and operate an eel pass to allow the free passage of eels
- The removal of any obstruction, if deemed necessary
- The use of eel screens to exclude eels from water abstraction and discharge points
- If necessary, the use of a by-wash to return excluded eels to the waters they came from.
It is an offence to:
- fail to comply with the regulations
- to obstruct any person acting in the execution of the regulations
- to withhold any assistance or information reasonably required by any such person
- to supply false or misleading information to any such person.
A person guilty of an offence under these Regulations is liable:
- on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum; or
- on conviction on indictment, to a fine.
If an offence under these Regulations committed by a body corporate is shown to have been committed with the consent or connivance of an officer, or to be attributable to any neglect on that person's part, the officer as well as the body corporate is guilty of the offence and is liable to be proceeded against and punished accordingly.
Others to whom the regulations apply include:
The other requirements of the regulations include:
- Licensed fishermen who are required to submit a catch return
- Any person fishing for eels except using a rod and line
- Operators of aquaculture businesses
- Importers / exporters of live eels.
- For fishermen, the submission of detailed catch returns relating to eels less than 12 centimetres in length
- For aquaculture businesses, the keeping of detailed records on eels less than 12 centimetres, their origin and destination
- For importers and exporters, the keeping of records on the origin of eels, and to ensure that eels are caught in a manner consistent with the relevant eel management plan
- Requirements on eels intended for restocking of eel river basins
- Establishment of close seasons when eels may not be caught
- The potential revocation of eel fishing licences, to reduce fishing effort.
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