crash was witnessed at fisheries across Europe

The UK’s most slippery export

buy canada goose uk Ten men are waiting in a cavernous warehouse on the northwestern tip of Lough Neagh, Northern Canada Goose Outlet Ireland. A small truck carrying several tanks pulls up. As the first tank is spilled out, water and a mass of wriggling eels flood down a chute and canadagooseuk buy canada goose jacket cheap the workers quickly begin sorting them. buy canada goose uk

The very look of an eel actually canada goose coats turns some people off. They squirm at the idea of it

canada goose outlet toronto factory The men job is to spot any eels that are too small: less than 40cm in length. These weedy specimens are quickly flicked off the chute and allowed to writhe through a grate on the floor below. From there they may swim back out into the lough, free to live another day. canada goose outlet toronto factory

The eels are black, shiny, and full of vigour. The Irish poet Seamus Heaney described them as sinewed slime in a tribute to the fishermen of Lough Neagh, who have been working the lough (Irish for lake) for centuries.

canada goose outlet online uk very look of an eel actually turns some people off, says Pat Close, chairman of the Lough Neagh fishermen co operative. squirm at the idea of it handling or eating it. Not only are the eels delicious when smoked, but thanks to the special quality of the fish canada goose uk shop in this region, the EU awarded them Protected Geographic Indicator (PGI) uk canada goose status. canada goose outlet online uk

canada goose outlet near me Even so, these eels are among Northern Ireland greatest agricultural prizes. The lake has Europe largest wild caught eel fishery. canada goose And not only are the eels delicious when smoked, but thanks to the special quality of the fish in this region, the European Union awarded them Protected Geographic Indicator (PGI) status in 2011. The accolade is shared by Champagne grapes and Parma ham. canada goose outlet near me

canada goose premium outlet And like those foodstuffs, eels aren cheap. Packs of smoked eels are being sold for much more than a packet of the more common delicacy smoked salmon, which might set you back a fiver at most. More reasonable prices might be available in restaurants which buy in bulk. canada goose premium outlet

canada Canada Goose Outlet goose outlet washington dc View image of Workers sort any eels that are too small: less than buy canada goose jacket 40cm. (Credit: Chris Baraniuk) canada goose outlet washington dc

canada goose outlet phone number Lough Neagh eels, too, have a historic pedigree. can look at lists of boat canada goose black friday sale owners today and see the same family names that were in records Canada Goose Jackets 60 or 70 years ago, says Close, who has worked at the eel fishery for more than 28 years. In fact, archaeological evidence suggests that people were fishing for and eating eels in what is now Northern Ireland as much as 6,000 years ago. canada goose outlet phone number

Yet other than the families who live on the shores of the lough, and in areas like canada goose factory sale the East End of London where jellied eel and eel pies were once popular, British people have never been very enthusiastic about eels. Of Canada Goose Parka the Canada Goose Online 400 tonnes of fish produced annually at Lough Neagh, most is exported to Germany and the Netherlands; in total, 80% of the fishery eels end up on the European continent.

canada goose outlet location While there is demand for eels, especially from mainland Europe, it has been gradually falling. Worse, stocks of European eel the species fished here still haven recovered from a population crash that happened in the 1980s. canada goose outlet location

canada goose outlet in new york View image of A seaside favourite at Weston super Mare, Somerset, in the UK (Credit: Alamy) canada goose outlet in new york

The European eel spawns in the North Atlantic, migrating as a juvenile to inland freshwater systems like Lough Neagh. That migration into the freshwater system is known as A decrease in recruitment numbers, of course, means fewer eels at Lough Neagh and that exactly what happened in 1982.

1982, we recruited 11 million which was bang on target, says Close. following year it dropped to three quarters of a million. Obviously the hope at that time was it was some sort of temporary blip. But sadly, history now shows that it was anything but. crash was witnessed at fisheries across Europe. The last time population numbers dipped on the same scale was in the early 1900s; no one knows what caused either of these events. Some researchers have queried the canada goose coats on sale role of pollutants, over fishing in some areas and the effect of hydroelectric dams the dams can kill huge numbers of eels.

There is also a climate based theory. In a cyclical weather system canada goose uk outlet called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), storms and depressions can change cheap canada goose uk direction either from north to south, or vice versa as they cross the North Atlantic towards Europe. Eels are highly sensitive to pressure changes like these, and the timing fits: there is some evidence that the NAO follows a 60 to 80 year cycle much like the El Ni oscillation in the Pacific may observe an interval of seven or eight years. What effect this has on eels, though, and whether it accounts for the population crashes of the early 1900s and 1980s, is difficult to say.

canada goose outlet store montreal View image of Hungry customers at Manze Eel, Pie and Mash shop in London, UK (Credit: Alamy) canada goose outlet store montreal

canada goose sale uk In an effort to safeguard the Lough Neagh population, the fishery has since 1984 been manually recruiting young eels, known as elvers, from other ecosystems. canada goose sale uk

canada goose outlet london uk It has also been working to establish conservation techniques with the help of Derek Evans of Belfast Agri Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI). canada goose outlet london uk

canada goose outlet vip Evans and some PhD students recently developed a method of surgically attaching electronic, acoustic tags to Canada Goose sale the eels to track how many progress out of the system in later life to breed. In one experiment they tagged 60 individuals at a cost of $46,000. As a result, they were able to listen out for radio designed to be unique to each eel, at a series of listening stations around the lough. Some of the fish were even picked up later during their migration at a listening station for tagged salmon near Donegal. canada goose outlet vip

canada goose outlet woodbury There is also the threat of a suspected black market trade to countries like China. Under current EU rules, the export of Canada Goose online European eels to Asia is banned. canada goose outlet woodbury

canada goose outlet hong kong The fishery also now has strict quotas on when canada goose store and how fishing can take place. None is allowed on the weekend, for example, and fishermen aren allowed to bring up lines or nets that were set the previous day before 4:30am. The co operative also sets a daily weight limit on the amount of canada goose clearance fish that may be landed. The ultimate goal is canada goose clearance sale to have at least 40% the number of mature, silver eels which migrate back out of the system to the Atlantic. In recent years, the fishery has been able to meet this target. canada goose outlet hong kong

View image of Fillets of eel are still pricier than salmon for fish lovers (Credit: Chris Baraniuk)

The European eel is actually listed as critically endangered by the International Union uk canada goose outlet of Conservation for Nature (IUCN). But Close argues that if it weren for farming with fisheries championing responsible fishery plans, including re stocking in key areas and constant monitoring of the eels health, the animals might be even worse off.

canada goose outlet price There is also the threat of a suspected black market trade to countries like China. Under current EU rules, the export of European eels to Asia is banned. But given the sheer size of the market there for the fish, this may ironically be encouraging black market activity and hampering the efforts of trustworthy fisheries, Close says. we were able to get a better return for our fish, we could afford to invest more money in restocking, he explains. canada goose outlet price

canada goose outlet uk fake In the last two months, the fishery has been marketing a high end smoked eel product to sell within the UK canada goose outlet uk fake

official canada goose outlet For now, the co operative is hoping that recognition of its conservation efforts and perhaps some long overdue affection for a local product can help raise the canadian goose jacket eels profile. official canada goose outlet

canada goose outlet us View image of Catch of the day is quickly sorted (Credit: Chris Baraniuk) canada goose outlet us

canada goose outlet store toronto In the last two months, the fishery has been marketing a high end smoked eel product to sell within the UK. Developed in conjunction cheap Canada Goose with a small business smoker at the southern end of the lough in Craigavon, the process requires that the eels are smoked for six hours at a time at a low temperature which allows them to retain their oil and develop a buttery flavour canada goose outlet store toronto.

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