Glasaal Volendam’s goal is to reduce the burden on nature by reproducing eel in aquaculture. The question is not whether we will succeed, but when we will succeed.
Current eel farming depends on the supply of wild glass eel (young eel), these glass eels are caught at sea and reared for human consumption. However, the eel is currently an endangered species due to, among others, obstacles in their migration routes, decreases in habitats, pollution, diseases and overfishing. The wild eel stocks in the Netherlands have decreased with 95% over the last fifty years. The number of young eels that enter the freshwater is currently only 1.5% of the amount between 1960 and 1979, according to research done by ICES, the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea.
IUCN is a global organization that publishes a Red List that shows which species are most threatened in the world. The European eel is classified on this list as “critically endangered”. This is the highest category for an animal species that can still be found in the wild.
By producing glass eel from self-farmed eel, Glasaal Volendam B.V. aims to farm and trade eel for aquaculture. This way glass eel supply to eel farms would not depend on wild eel stocks anymore. The species can survive in its natural environment and the world can continue consuming eel.
Initially €1.2 million has been invested by 90 investors and €740,000 was granted by the government. We used this money to build a modern professional aquaculture facility in Volendam. A second emission of shares resulted in an injection of another €320,000 in 2015.
In 2016 our researchers have proved that Glasaal Volendam B.V. is able to produce increasing numbers of eel larvae, and keep the larvae alive for a longer period of time. Glasaal Volendam B.V. has initiated feeding experiments, which has resulted in feeding larvae. Even though this is a huge step forward, the optimal diet has yet to be determined. Followup experiments are aiming to increase the production of larvae and to improve the larval diet which should result in increased chance of survival of our larvae. Ultimately Glasaal Volendam B.V. aims to enable its eel larvae to complete their development to the glass-eel stage.
The primary goal of Glasaal Volendam is to save the eel, but we also have the ambition to produce glass eel on a commercial and sustainable level. This is very viable because the worldwide demand for glass eel is about 350,000 kilogram per year. Furthermore, the demand for glass eel has exceeded the supply for the last 40 years.
To realize our goals, money is needed for research at least until 2022. While the researchers of Glasaal Volendam B.V. are gathering knowledge and experience, fundraising is the main goal for the Glasaal Volendam B.V. board. To this end we would like to get in contact with substantial parties who might be interested to join our cause.
Cees Zwarthoed (Chairman)
Hein Koning (Finance)
Hein Schilder (Secretary)
Dirk Tuip (Marketing & Communication)
Guus Warringa (General Member)
Petra van Dijk, MSc.
Manager breeding facility
Rick Leemans, MSc.
Mr. C.I.M. Keje Molenaar
Commissioner at Glasaal Volendam
W.J.F.M. van Beek
Former mayor of Edam-Volendam
Commissioner at Glasaal Volendam
Tel: +31 (0)299 406126
Glasaal Volendam B.V.
1131 PE Volendam