In the news: Report calls for native eel protection

Dr Jan Wright, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is calling for a moratorium on the fishing of native longfin eels, citing research showing the species is in decline.

The native longfin eel. Credit: John Johnston (via Flickr)

The Commissioner’s report, ‘On a pathway to extinction? An investigation into the status and management of the longfin eel‘, highlighted new research detailing the decline of native longfin eel populations and the need to take measures to prevent their extinction. Specifically, Dr Wright recommended for a moratorium on commercial fishing of the eels.

“It is critical that we stop fishing longfin eels. It is not just fishing that is a problem, but stopping it is the only action that has immediate potential to reverse the decline of this extraordinary creature.” Dr Wright said in a media release.

More information about the report, including audio from a media briefing, expert commentary and further resources, can be found here.

The report has sparked widespread public debate on eel fisheries. National coverage of the report includes:

Waatea News: Wai M?ori wants action on eels
3 News: Longfin eel report ‘lacks substance’
Timaru Herald: Longfin Eels In Decline – Expert
Yahoo NZ News: Longfin eels doing OK, processor says
TVNZ News: Native eel on ‘slow path to extinction’ – report
Waatea News: Call for halt to eel harvest
Radio NZ: Commissioner wants longfin eel fishing suspended
Newstalk ZB:Intervention needed to save longfin eel
Dominion Post: Longfin eel fishing needs to stop – Commissioner

Numerous political parties, government agencies and NGOs have issue press releases responding to the report, including: Labour Party, Green Party, Maori Party, Forest & Bird, Te Wai Maori Trust and the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Department of Conservation (jointly).