2020.12.17

Ålfisket fortsätter – i strid med forskarnas rekommendationer

Så sent som i oktober 2020 rekommenderade forskarna ännu en gång att allt kommersiellt fiske på blankål skulle stoppas. Men vid sitt möte i december beslutade ministerrådet ännu en gång bara om att stoppa fisket under tre valfria månader. "Kan man inte visa att det man gjort hittills gett effekt behöver man göra mer för ålen", säger Charles Berkow, omvärldsanalytiker vid Östersjöcentrum.

Text: Lisa Bergqvist

Texten har uppdaterats med information om årets beslut i ministerrådet.

Rekommendationen från forskarna vid ICES, International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, har varit i princip detsamma de senaste 20 åren: all dödlighet, inklusive fisket, av den europeiska ålen bör begränsas till så nära noll som möjligt. Orsaken är den kraftiga minskningen av beståndet; de senaste decennierna har mängden glasål som når Europa minskat med mer än 90 procent. Även Östersjöcentrum har vid upprepade tillfällen påtalat vikten av stoppa fisket för att rädda ålen, senast i en policy brief i år.

– Det är fisket vi kan påverka på kort sikt och speciellt fisket efter mogen ål har stor betydelse när det gäller en art som ålen som bara förökar sig sent i livet och bara en gång, förklarar Henrik Svedäng, fiskforskare vid Östersjöcentrum. 

2017 föreslog EU-kommissionen ett förslag om totalstopp för ålfisket, men förslaget fick inte gehör i ministerrådet. Fiskeministrarna i rådet valde i stället att införa ett temporärt stopp på tre månader, som medlemsländerna kunde förlägga när de ville inom en viss period. Motsvarande beslut fattades 2018 och 2019. Inför ministerrådets möte 15-16 december i år föreslog kommissionen återigen samma överenskommelse och ministerrådet beslutade enligt förslaget. 

Det är osäkert om medlemsstaterna hittills har förlagt fiskestoppet på den bästa tidsperioden för att skydda lekvandrande ål. För Sveriges del har Havs- och vattenmyndigheten valt att förlägga årets stopp mellan 1 november och 31 januari, något Östersjöcentrum har kritiserat.

Historiskt har merparten av vandringsålen som fångas i Östersjön fiskats under juli och augusti.

 – ICES skriver att läget för ålen är fortsatt kritiskt. Om det inte kan visas att tremånadersstoppen ger effekt bör kommissionens förslag följa ICES råd och ministrarna besluta om ett generellt fiskestopp nästa år, säger Charles Berkow. 

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ICES rekommendationer om ål

ICES ADVICE ON EUROPEAN EEL

1999

ICES recommends that a recovery plan should be implemented for the eel stock and that the fishing mortality be reduced to the lowest possible level until such a plan is agreed upon and implemented.

2000

Advice on management: ICES recommends that a recovery plan should be implemented for the eel stock and that the fishing mortality be reduced to the lowest possible level until such a plan is agreed upon and implemented. 

2001

ICES recommends that an international rebuilding plan is developed for the whole stock.  Until such a plan is agreed upon and implemented, ICES recommends that exploitation be reduced to the lowest possible level.

2002

ICES recommends that an international recovery plan be developed for the whole stock on an urgent basis and that exploitation and other anthropogenic mortalities be reduced to as close to zero as possible, until such a plan is agreed upon and implemented. 

2003

2004

2005

ICES repeats its recommendation that a recovery plan for the whole stock be developed urgently, and that exploitation and other anthropogenic impacts be reduced to as close to zero as possible, until such a plan is agreed upon and implemented.

2006

In order to restore the spawning stock, protective measures have to be implemented. ICES repeats its recommendation that a recovery plan for the whole stock should be implemented urgently. An important element of such a recovery plan should be a ban on all exploitation (including eel harvesting for aquaculture) until clear signs of recovery can be established. Other anthropogenic impacts should be reduced to a level as close to zero as possible.

2007

There is no change in the perception of the status of the stock. The advice remains that urgent actions are needed to avoid the depletion of the eel stock.

Since recruitment remains at an all time low and stock recovery will be a long-term process for biological reasons, ICES recommends that all exploitation and other anthropogenic impacts on production and escapement of eels should be reduced to as low as possible, until there are clear signs of recovery. 

2008

Since recruitment remains in decline and stock recovery is a long-term process for biological reasons, ICES recommends that all exploitation and other anthropogenic impacts on production and escapement of eels should be reduced to as close to zero as possible. 

2009

ICES reiterates its previous advice that “all anthropogenic impacts on production and escapement of eels should be reduced to as close to zero as possible until stock recovery is achieved”.

2010

ICES reiterates its previous advice that all anthropogenic mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, barriers to passage, habitat alteration, pollution, etc.) affecting production and escapement of eels should be reduced to as close to zero as possible until there is clear evidence that the stock is increasing. A concerted effort by all European countries to conserve eel habitats is urgently needed. 

2011

The status of eel remains critical and urgent action is needed. ICES reiterates its previous advice that all anthropogenic mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, hydropower, pollution) affecting production and escapement of eels should be reduced to as close to zero as possible until there is clear evidence that both recruitment and the adult stock are increasing.

2012

The status of eel remains critical and urgent action is needed. ICES reiterates its previous advice that all anthropogenic mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, hydropower, pollution) affecting production and escapement of eels should be reduced to as close to zero as possible until there is clear evidence that both recruitment and the adult stock are increasing.

2013

The status of eel remains critical and urgent action is needed. ICES advises that all anthropogenic mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, hydropower, pollution) affecting production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to as close to zero as possible, until there is clear evidence of sustained increase in both recruitment and the adult stock.

2014

The status of eel remains critical and ICES advises that all anthropogenic mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) affecting production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to – or kept as close to – zero as possible.

2015

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied for European eel, all anthropogenic mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing on all stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) affecting production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to – or kept as close to – zero as possible. 

2016

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied for European eel, all anthropogenic impacts (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing on all stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) decreasing production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to – or kept as close to – zero as possible. 

2017

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied for European eel, all anthropogenic impacts (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing on all stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) that decrease production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to – or kept as close to – zero as possible.

2018

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied for European eel, all anthropogenic impacts (e.g. caused by recreational and commercial fishing on all stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) that decrease production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to – or kept as close to – zero as possible in 2019 

2019

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied for European eel, all anthropogenic impacts (e.g. caused by recreational and commercial fishing on all stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) that decrease production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to, or kept as close as possible to, zero in 2020.

2020

ICES advises that when the precautionary approach is applied for European eel, all anthropogenic impacts (e.g. caused by recreational and commercial fishing on all life stages, hydropower, pumping stations, and pollution) that decrease production and escapement of silver eels should be reduced to, or kept as close as possible to, zero in 2021.