Friday, June 08, 2007

Eels could be added to endangered list

A powerful international conservation group looks set to add the eel to its list of threatened species.

European eel numbers are feared to be as low as one per cent of their population 30 years ago.

But European Union efforts to control fishing were foiled this year by French politicians, fearful of alienating eel fishermen before parliamentary elections.

Next week the signatories to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora will meet in The Hague to vote on a proposal to add the European eel to Appendix Two of its list of species.

It covers creatures which are not necessarily threatened with immediate extinction but may become so if further action is not taken.