An eel industry spokesperson says commercial fishers are reporting significant improvements in eel numbers in parts of the lower South Island.
In April, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released a report saying the longfin eel was on a slow path to extinction. The report called for a ban on commercial fishing of the eel.
Bill Chisholm says fishers have been reporting increasing numbers of eels in areas where farmers have fenced off streams and improved wetlands.
He says the commissioner's report lacks focus on the eels' habitat, which he says is vital to their survival.