A crowdfunding platform has been initiated for dam removal projects across Europe, the site being hosted by WWF Netherlands.

In the past, thousands of dams have been used for hydropower throughout Europe. Many of these dams are not used anymore, and instead create barriers for migrating species and thus inhibit ecosystem connectivity. This affects both migrating fish that cannot reach their spawning and feeding grounds, but also other animals that depend on the fish, such as fish-eating birds and mammals. The aim with the Dam Removal Crowdfunding Platform is to raise financial support to remove old dams in Europe that currently are not in use, so that flee-flowing river ecosystems can be restored.

Read more about the Dam Removal Crowdfunding Platform here, and feel free to communicate the platform throughout your networks!

Last week a group of people from the Fish Passage 2015-team, World Fish Migration Foundation and WWF-Netherlands visited the River Ätran in Southern Sweden. Herting, the hydropower plant located most downstream in the system, has been subject to extensive efforts to improve fish passage. A dam structure has been removed and a large nature-like fishway constructed to facilitate both upstream and downstream passage (as well as supply salmon and other fish with additional spawning habitat) and a low sloping rack has been installed to guide downstream migrating fish to a by-pass entrance by the turbine intakes. Passing migratory fish include Atlantic salmon, brown trout, sea lamprey and European eel. Olle Calles, researcher at NRRV and Karlstad University, has been involved throughout the processes and presented pre- and post-remediation data on fish-passage and told the story about salmon population in the river. The group also visited a monitoring trap and spawning areas in the River Högvadsån, a tributary to the River Ätran and was given the opportunity to track radio tagged eel in an ongoing study on eel downstream migration and dam passage. We appreciate the visit and the interesting discussions taking place throughout their stay.


Herting hydropower plant, the naturelike fishway to the right and the intake channel to the left. In the end of the intake channel, there is a low sloping rack to guide the fish to the by-pass entrance. In the naturelike fishway the upstream migrating fish are guided to a narrow area to facilitate monitoring. (Foto from a film by Fiskevårdsteknik)


The group at the monitoring trap in the tributary Högvadsån. Present in the photo is also a visiting journalist from Swedish National Radio (SR). Mr. Möller is managing the trap.


A salmon caught and displayed at the monitoring trap.


Tracking radio-tagged eel in the River Ätran.

havetOECD har den här veckan givit ut en rapport om ekonomisk tillväxt och ekologisk hållbarhet inom fiske och vattenbruk. Rapporten går under titeln: “Green growth in Aquculture and Fisheries” och kan läsas online här. I Executive summary efterfrågas bland annat politiska och institutionella förändringar, liksom förbättrad övervakning, forskning och uppföljning av åtgärder: “Green growth means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which our well-being relies. The OECD green growth strategy sets out a five-step roadmap to establish sustainable pro-growth reforms. This begins with preparing the way for change, removing barriers to reform, establishing a new policy set and finally by measuring results and taking stock. Following this roadmap means that policies for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors must be more systematic in identifying risk, using market-based instruments and building accountable institutions. It also calls for a more expansive process, involving a broad reach of communities dependent on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. This will, inter alia, require investing in better data and science to support managing a more complex system while building networks to ensure policy coherence and inclusiveness.”

I en annan rapport, Reviving the Ocean Economy, uppskattas havets produktiva värde till 24 000 miljarder vilket i en jämförelse skulle göra det till världens sjunde största ekonomiOve Hoegh-Guldberg, Unviersity of Queensland är en av författarna och förklarar för Nature att rapporten “comes up with a very large number despite the fact that we can’t value the many intangibles — production of sand along coastlines, the value of oceans in terms of their contribution to cultures, and so on. We don’t make any apologies for the fact that we can’t get the real value. But we can get a number which we know is the minimum, and in this case it is a very large number. If the ocean were a country it would be the seventh-largest economy on the planet. I don’t think that is surprising to any marine scientist, but it may come as a surprise to a lot of people outside marine science..” Rapportförfattaren anser att det är viktigt att sätta ett monetärt värde på havet som ett steg i att skydda lokala resurser och ekosystem från överfiske och habitatförstörelse men pekar också på nödvändigheten av att angripa globala klimatförändring och försurningen av havet“If you protect marine areas and regulate fishing, you can help corals survive the impact of climate change… …If we solve these local problems we can buy some time while we deal with the global climate issue. But let’s not pretend here – if we don’t get off the current CO2-rich pathway we’re on now, all the attempts to control local factors won’t work. Coral reefs will become a distant memory and the ability to feed people will be severely degraded.”