My boyhood memories of the spring of the year revolve around the arrival of the elvers, (eel fry or glass eels). There was always a huge air of expectation and excitement at this time of year amongst all the locals along the banks of the River Severn and River Wye. This mysterious fish, which makes the journey from the Sargasso Sea to our British waters, attracts a far wider audience these days. I acknowledge all the press that these fish have attracted over the past few years; although I do not agree with all that is written. I do however feel very privileged to have had a lifetime of fishing and restocking this very secretive fish.
It’s now time that we all start to think of the impact we are all having on what is one of Europe’s most valuable fishery resources, the eel.
Severn & Wye Smokery has decided to organise an active educational and restocking programme. This programme comes in two parts:
We have launched a pilot scheme, to put an eel tank in our local primary school, Highnam C of E Primary School. The school children looked after and fed the glass eels for a period of about 10 to 12 weeks. During this period they learnt about the fishery, the environment and the significance of our actions on both. Then on 15th July we had a highly publicised release day where Brian Turner and the school children returned the fish to the lakes at Highnam Court as a restocking project. This project proved to be such a success that we have already discussed rolling it out to a further eight local schools next season.
Severn & Wye Smokery is an active member of the Sustainable Eel Group. This is a group of scientists, government agencies, commercial bodies and fisherman whose sole interest is the well-being of our eel. As a group we are trying to address the issues that surround the eel. Please check out the website for more information.
Apart from our enthusiasm and passion for the eel, the other key ingredient to the ongoing success of the above projects is money. It is Severn & Wye Smokery's intention to engage its customers with the above, by way of contributing three live elvers to the Tanks in Schools scheme every time a Severn & Wye Smokery product is eaten.
Enjoy your seafood lunch and take pleasure in the fact that you are now involved in actively securing the future of my passion – the eel.