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Parliamentary questions
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15 April 2019
Question for written answer P-001839-19
to the Commission
Rule 130
Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL)

 Subject:  Protection of the European eel
 Answer in writing 

The European eel is a critically endangered species which is also native to Belarus. Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97 introduced a ban on the sale of EU glass eels to third countries, including Belarus, and Council Regulation (EC) No 1100/2007 established measures for the recovery of European eel stocks.

In addition, Belarus has drawn inspiration from this EU legislation and implemented several measures for the conservation and sustainable use of European eel resources, including allowing at least 50% of migrating eels from Belarusian reservoirs to pass into transboundary watercourses.

On the basis of these measures, Belarus should be in full compliance with Council Regulation (EC) No 338/97, yet factors beyond its control, mainly in other countries (e.g. hydroelectric power plants without protective measures in Latvia), mean that the European eel population in Belarus is still declining.

What does the Commission plan to do about this situation? What is the level of protection of European eels in Latvia? Is the Commission considering lifting the ban on the purchase of glass eels to stabilise the situation outside the EU?

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