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
Who do the regulations apply to?
The Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009 are extremely important for the protection of eels, given their vulnerable status. However, they do have major implications for businesses, and non-compliance is a punishable offence. It is therefore vital to be sure whether or not your business is affected, and what you may need to do to comply. Sectors potentially affected include:
Are you affected?
- Electricity supply industry
- Public and private water supply
- Aggregate washing
- Paper manufacture
- Oil refining & chemical industries
- Other industrial uses
- Spray irrigation (agricultural and non-agricultural)
- Other agricultural uses
- Fish farming, cress growing, amenity ponds
then you will be required to comply with the regulations
- operate a diversion structure capable of abstracting at least 20 cubic metres of water per 24 hours, through any one abstraction point,
- have a diversion structure returning water to a channel, bed or sea, or
- are constructing, altering or maintaining a dam, impounding works, or any other structure in or near water liable to cause an obstruction to the passage of eels
Who is exempt?
You may be exempt if:
What does this mean for your business?
- it can be statistically proven that eels are absent from the water course,
- your current screening provides adequate protection, or
- your flow or intake configuration is such that "not many eels will be impinged or entrained".
If you are required to comply with the regulations, then:
Pisces Conservation can assist at every stage - find out how we can help you
- On or after 1st January 2015 you may be required to fit a screen to your intake structure in order to protect eels
- Screen mesh sizes to be fitted: Estuary to tidal limit = 1mm; tidal limit to 30km upstream = 2-3mm; 30km upstream of tidal limit = 9-20mm
- You may also need to maintain low screen approach velocities, depending on the life stages of eels present
- The Environment Agency may also serve you with a notice requiring that an eel screen be fitted before 1st January 2015
- You may be required to construct and maintain a by-wash to return excluded eels to the waters they came from
- You must notify the Environment Agency of the construction, alteration or maintenance of any structure likely to affect the free passage of eels
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