Kiwi jellied eels sold as British

MICHAEL FIELD
Last updated 16:00 29/11/2013
Longfin Eel
SLIPPERY SITUATION: The longfin eel could soon be extinct, according to ecologists.

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New Zealand eels which are under threat here have been sold in a top English store chain labelled British and sustainably caught.

The Angling Trust says on its website that Sainsbury’s has written to them apologising for selling the jellied eels saying they were “from sustainable sources from around the British Isles”.

It says Sainsbury chief executive Justin King says the labelling was the result of miscommunication and that they will now act to ensure “that communications at our store fish counters are as clear as possible.”

The European Eel has been a recognised endangered species since 2010 and anglers are required by law to return any that they catch using rod and line.

Mark Lloyd of the Angling Trust said they welcomed Sainsbury’s admission. 

“Provenance is very important to customers and we should be able to trust supermarkets to be absolutely precise about how food is labelled so that we can take informed decisions.”

Andrea O'Sullivan of the National Anguilla Club said while the admission was welcome, it was disappointing to see that the chain was selling New Zealand Long Fin and Short Fin eels which are under threat.

“It seems like the ‘sustainability’ problem has just been shifted to the other side of the world rather than been addressed in a more ecologically responsible manner by withdrawing eel meat from sale completely,” O’Sullivan said.

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- Fairfax Media

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