Eel Fishery and Stock Management and Conservation in China: Past, Present and Future

Thursday, August 21, 2014: 2:10 PM
206B (Centre des congrès de Québec // Québec City Convention Centre)
Shuozeng Dou , Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266071, China
The Japanese eel Anguilla japonica has been exploited commercially or in aquaculture for several decades in East Asia. As elsewhere in its distribution, the eel population in Chinese waters has been in rapid decline in recent years, due to overfishing on both the glass eels as well as the freshwater resident eels, and as a consequence of habitat destruction caused by human activities, all of which reduce the recruitment to the eel population. Meanwhile, eel aquaculture is still high-profit, so the demand for wild glass eels is increasing year on year, further decimating the wild eel population. This creates a dilemma for eel stock management: profit from eel aquaculture vs. sustainable wild eel stocks? Based on the information on eel population and fisheries from literature and public statistical data, this paper tentatively outlines the history and current status of the eel fishery, aquaculture, stock management and conservation in China. The anthropogenic impacts likely causing or contributing to the decline of the eel stock are also investigated. Furthermore, protective measures to monitor, conserve and restore the eel stocks are proposed, hopefully providing knowledge for better understanding of the eel population dynamics and stock conservation in East Asia.