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The impact of diffuse pollution on European eel populations - SF0255

Summary Objective:
The aim of this project is to investigate the effect on eels of specific aquatic contaminants that are known to adversely affect other diadromous fish species at sensitive stages in their lives. ICES has assessed the European stock to be outside safe biological limits, and the EU has therefore implemented the Eel Recovery Regulation which requires Members States to develop Eel Recovery Plans. These Plans must take account of the factors that may be reducing eel production below the levels expected in the absence of human impacts, including pollution. The research is therefore needed to provide information on some of the diffuse pollutants that may be limiting production of eels populations and to support the development of management options and conservation measures. The research will focus on the contaminants within freshwater and coastal zones that are known to adversly affect other diadromous fish species (salmonids) and reduce survival as they migrate between the freshwater and marine environments.

Key Customer Purpose:
The information derived from this project will be used to increase our understanding of the factors regulating eel populations in the UK and in particular the role of contaminants such as pesticides and flame retardants in regulating eel populations through the disruption of key biological processes. It will therefore provide neccesary support for the development and implementation of the UK Eel Recovery Plans under the EU Eel Recovery Regulation. The results will be used to advise policy customers in Defra and other management authorities (e.g. the Environment Agency) on the prioritisation of future management decisions relating to the conservation and enhancement of eel populations.
Project Documents
• EVID4 - Final project report : SF0255-Final Report   (995k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : SF0255 two page summary   (201k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2009

To: 2014

Cost: £464,295
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Freshwater Fish Stocks              
Stock Conservation              
Fields of Study
Freshwater Fisheries