Local Eel populations need our help!! So we have put together a crowdfunder as part of the Better Bristol campaign and it went live err just NOW…
Dig deep and help us to tackle this important problem!…
There is a problem – Eels are critically endangered. In the Bristol Channel Eel numbers are dwindling. Eels have a complicated life cycle. Many die on their journey up the Bristol Channel – especially in the tiny glass eel phase – from disease, poor waterways management and by being eaten by predators. This project will support and rebuild our Eel populations, so that our traditions of eels in the Bristol Channel don’t get lost forever!
Current conservation efforts rely on glass eels being captured from the wild, grown on until they are less fragile, then released back into the wild, in a safe place. Eel conservation locally faces lack of public awareness of the Eel and the fate of the Eel. Community-scale restocking programmes like Spawn to be Wild struggle to get enough eels to release – which is where we come in! And is why -we are raising money to increase our eel- ongrowing capacity at our facility in Hartcliffe!
At Bristol Fish Project we have run a pilot to grow eels from tiny fragile babies (glass-eels) to a larger, stronger size (elvers), for release- working with local people and projects. We are really pleased with our pilot – now it’s time for us to increase our eel production capacity. We want to make sure there are plenty of elvers to put back into the local waterways for restocking and to make sure elvers are available, affordable and accessible for schools and community projects (e.g. Eels for Schools – a really great project).
We want to increase our ability to work with the local community on improving the Eel’s fate, working in particular with local angling clubs, Bristol Aquarium, and local universities. Eels have such a wealth of history in our area – this project makes the link between eels conservation and the conservation of local food traditions, stories and culture!
We don’t want to rely on donations forever… So we’ve created an innovative model to ensure Eel conservation into the future… We use the eel’s waste to fertilise edible plants that we can sell locally to raise money – via aquaponics – which we’ve been working with since 2011. Plus we will sell 30%* of our eel intake into the local food system – to shops like the Fish Shop on Gloucester Road, to cover costs of conservation activities into the future! We are a community-led social enterprise and our legal structure is “Community Interest Company” – which means we work for the benefit of the local community rather than to turn a profit.
You can see our story so far in pictures on Instagram
It really makes our hearts ache to think that eels might not be around in the future – please help us to try to change the fate of the eel locally by supporting our crowdfunder!
We’ve tried to put together some unique rewards for contributers – including our funky self-designed Unagi (Eel in Japanese) tote bags:
Thanks for help with our campaign goes out to:
*inline with the Sustainable Eel Group’s framwork for sustainable eel farming (http://www.sustainableeelgroup.org/)