Unabated smuggling threatens European eel with extinction

Bosnia and Herzegovina
Published Jan 1, 2024

Tridge summary

Despite increased efforts by law enforcement agencies across Europe, the illegal trade in endangered European eels continues to pose a significant threat to the species. Europol has conducted multiple high-profile busts of eel smuggling rings, resulting in the arrest of hundreds of smugglers and the seizure of millions of euros worth of smuggled elvers. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has recognized Europol's success in Operation Lake, a coordinated international effort to combat the trafficking of glass eels, but ongoing action is still needed to prevent the extinction of the European eel.
Disclaimer: The above summary was generated by Tridge's proprietary AI model for informational purposes.

Original content

Authorities across Europe continued cracking down on the illegal trade of the endangered European eel in 2023, but the species is still at risk, according to Europol, the law enforcement agency of the European Union.Eels are a target for smugglers as their hatchling form – elvers, or “glass eels” as they are sometimes known – are extremely valuable. The tiny baby eels can be worth as much as EUR 1.00 (USD 1.10) each – and their small size means a kilogram worth of elvers can fetch thousands of euros.Europol first announced its increased effort to stop European eel trafficking in 2019, and has subsequently completed multiple high-profile busts of eel smuggling rings. Through “Operation Lake,” it has caught hundreds of smugglers, including a huge bust in 2021 that nabbed 108 suspects and resulted in the seizure of EUR 6.2 million (then USD 5.5 million) worth of smuggled elvers. In the most recent Operation Lake operation, which ran from October 2022 to June 2023, Europol arrested ...
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