2015 should be the year when I get to release the 27,000 eels that SustainAbility gave me in celebration of 27 years of involvement with the companies. (For background on earlier release, see here.) That number seemed small, however, when I read in The Times on Saturday that Bulgarian customs officials has seized 2,000,000 baby eels hidden in the luggage of two Chinese men arriving from Spain.
A critically endangered species, European eels cannot be exported outside the EU. Fetching €500 per kilo in Europe, such eels go for up to €1,300 per kilo in Asia. In the week where I am due to attend a board meeting of the Sustainable Eel Group, this news was a reminder of just how steep an incline eel conservationists still have to climb. I wonder how many other cases of eels have slipped through our borders?