Minister of Fisheries Gerda Verburg has declared a one-month ban on eel fishing, to take effect in October 2009. Minister Verburg wrote to the Lower House of Parliament on Monday that the ban is necessary to prevent the eel from becoming extinct in the Netherlands.
Eel fishing and the trade in smoked eels used to be widespread in towns surrounding the inland Ijsselmeer Lake. In order to prevent exhaustion of eel stocks, the government began implementing protective measures in 2007. Recreational fishermen are obliged to return the eels they catch to the water.
Eel (Anguillla anguilla), snake-like fish, generally live in inland waterways and freshwater lakes, but migrate out to the Atlantic to breed. In order to increase their prevalence , professional fishermen will be catching adult eels in August and September to help them cross barriers and locks. This assistance will make it easier for the animals to reach their breeding grounds in the Atlantic Ocean to procreate. The young return to inland waters to mature. The October fishing ban is meant to protect juvenile eels.