The Living North Sea project aims to promote free fish migration from sea to source to keep our waters alive. It addresses three essential aspects about the management of migratory fish:
- migration routes
- threats such as man-made barriers and fish migration measures; and
- influencing future policy at a regional, national and international level and informing the general public
The work on migratory routes will focus on sea trout, eel and salmon, but will be applicable to many other species. The partnership will carry out analysis and visualization of migratory routes, populations and consequences of management actions. New communication and mapping tools for working and sharing data between partners will be explored.
Fish migration measures
The second part involves the innovation of fish migration measures. In the North Sea Region some deltas and estuaries are closed to fish and many more have barriers such as dams and sluices throughout their system. This means that many fish species like the eel, salmon and sea trout cannot reach their spawning and breeding grounds. The partnership focuses on the development of better and innovative migration measures, such as passages or sluice management and the implementation of these in demonstration projects.
Last but not least communication and the dissemination of our findings to policy-makers, local decision-makers and the public. The Living North Sea Project will place emphasis on promotion and publicity because the effect of barriers on fish populations is often not considered when dealing with flooding, drainage, or renewable power generation. Yet healthy fisheries are critical to sustainable development and good ecological status. Intensive communication actions intended to influence regional, national and European policies will be carried out. Creating new partnerships, sharing knowledge and achieving greater awareness and involvement are key elements in this project.