Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Conservationist's claims that European eels are 'critically endangered' challenged by trader

The conservation body that assesses the level of threat to animal species has been reported to the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) by a company that sells eels – for describing the fish as "critically endangered".

The classification, by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), suggests the European eel is at greater risk of extinction than giant pandas, blue whales and mountain gorillas, all considered to be merely "endangered".

Peter Wood, who owns the Gloucester-based UK Glass Eels, which sells eels as food, said that since the designation in 2010 the European market for eels had shrunk by 50 per cent.

"There's a lot at stake," he said. "The eel classification is damaging. It's not a balanced view and it's not evidence-based. The giant panda is 'endangered', but it's at far greater risk than the eel – there are only 2,000 of them left. For the eel, we are talking about a population of hundreds of thousands of millions."

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