ICES advice for 2014, applicable for the widely-distributed and migratory stock of European Eel (Anguilla Anguilla), expresses the need for all human-caused mortality (e.g. recreational and commercial fishing, hydropower, and pollution) influencing production and escapement of silver eels to be reduced to as close to zero as possible. This should remain the case until there is clear evidence of a continued increase in both recruitment and the adult stock.
Bucking the trend over previous years, however, is news that the recruitment of glass eel – the creatures at their see-through stage upon passing from salt to fresh water – has increased. Over the last two years, this number of juveniles surviving to join the adult population in European waters has gone up from less than 1% to 1.5% of the reference level (mean numbers in 1960-1979) in the North Sea area and from 5% to 10% in the west-coast area of Europe.
ICES Deputy Head of Advisory Programme Henrik Sparholt stated, "It is an unexpected and positive sign that glass eel numbers are going up, but the amount of glass eel are still much lower than they should be for the eel stock size to be judged within safe biological limits by ICES. Urgent actions to help rebuild the stock are still needed."