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Influence of dam and turbines of Narva hydropower station on the migration of European eel from Lake Peipsi basin. (EELMIG)

European eel Anguilla anguilla (L.) is widely distributed throughout European estuarine and inland waters. In their adult phase eel spawn in the western central Atlantic Ocean. The larvae drift and swim into river mouths all over Europe and Northen Africa, before migrating upstream to spend most of their lives. The oldest eels migrate back downstream and across the Atlantic to spawn and die. Eel stocks, which are of enormous commercial and ecological value, have shown continued decline across Europe for many years. Recruitment has according to ICES dropped to 1% of previous levels - the eel stocks are under serious threat of extinction. To prevent the extinction of European eel, immediate and tough actions are necessary. Management of eel stock is a Community-wide issue because the fish form a single stock that is distributed across the European continent. A Community approach is needed in order that Member States can each implement a balanced and equitable contribution to eel management. At first the Commission prepared a Communication entitled 'Development of a Community Action Plan for the management of European Eel (COM(2003) 573 final). This document was adopted by Council in July 2004. Based on these conclusions, the Commission organised workshops and discussions and just now is preparing Council Regulation of establishing measures for the recovery of the stock of European Eel. The principal element of the Regulation is the establishment of national eel management plans, by means of which each Member State will achieve the objective of a 40% escapement of adult silver eel from each river basin. Most crucial conservation measures to ensure eel survival and reproduction in Lake Peipsi basin and Narva River are modifications to dam and turbines to allow improved eel migration, increase in restocking, reduction of silver eel fishing, improvements in water quality etc. Ecological status of the living environment is an important precondition for the well-being of eel as well as for other biota. According to the requirements of European Water Framework Directive, the water bodies must achieve good condition by 2015. Currently, Lake Peipsi is evaluated to be in moderate, and by some indicators even in bad status. For better evaluation of the status of Lake Peipsi and Narva River, the nutrient load model is planned to create. The MONERIS model worked well in several water bodies in Europe, and it enables early prediction of water quality changes. The model is good addition to monitoring programme.



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  • 2000 - 2006 Estonia - Latvia - Russia (EE-LV-RU)
  • Projet sur KEEP platform
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