Local Eel populations need our help!!
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. In 2013 only 9% of the predicted possible number of eels actually made it to spawn. 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 been trialling a programme to grow baby glass-eels captured from the Severn to larger and stronger elvers for release back into the wild. We are really pleased with our pilot, and we now want to increase our efforts and expand our capacity. We want to make sure that we can put as many elvers back into Bristol’s waterways as possible to conserve the local eel population. We also want to continue our work with the local community and make sure that our elvers are available to schools and community projects such as the excellent Eels for Schools which works in the Bristol area.
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.
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/)
**Please Note - tours and workshops may include other people and are not 'private'. We would need to schedule tours and workshops in advance - as we are not generally open to the public.
*** Tote bags are to be picked up from our HQ unless you add £2 for postage :-*