Video by the Musée de la mémoire vivante
Informant: Guy Verreault, wildlife biologist
Date: November 28, 2016
Location: Rivière-du-Loup (Québec)
Wildlife biologist Guy Verreault explains that, overall, fewer eels are being caught because the number of eel fishers has decreased.
A close-up head and shoulder view of Guy Verreault appears on the screen. He is facing the camera and gestures with his hands from time to time as he speaks.
[Guy Verreault] Eel fishing is basically a commercial activity, because eel is not fished recreationally. The harvesting rate of the commercial eel fishery on the Côte-du-Sud is less than 10%.
To be clear, for every 100 eels that swim by here, 91 will continue on their way past the weirs. So, eel fishing is obviously not one of the factors contributing to the decline observed. There are other causes involving habitat access, blocked habitats, mortality due to turbines and contaminants, which definitely still exist, and overall fish mortality.
Obviously, fishing is not the main factor in the decline of eel. We must be very, very clear about this.