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Title: Fish and the Ecological Assessment of Lakes and Rivers for the Water Framework Directive
Author: Herriot Watt University
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_1338, Representation ID: 444, Object ID: 2514
The primary purpose of the workshop was to assemble a representative sample of relevant UK expertise so that the current state of knowledge regarding ecological assessment of fish populations could be explored and related to the needs of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for such information. This summary of the output from the workshop is intended to inform the rivers and lakes Technical Advisory Groups (TAG), which will in turn provide information to those involved in the implementation of the WFD, including member state governments. The following conclusions were drawn from the 2 days of presentations and discussions: 1. Common methods for assessing fish are in use through the UK. These are not yet national standards but some are Agency standards. 2. A largely common understanding of the applicability and relative efficiency of methods exists but their actual use depends on the resources available. 3. Fish are sensitive to a variety of pressures and especially useful for certain pressures using the appropriate metric or indicator. 4. In relation to WFD: Determination of appropriate elements for ecological classification (spp composition, abundance and age structure) is possible with appropriately selected assessment methods, but usable data is currently very sparse. 5. The FAME project is designed to deliver a common approach to deriving a classification scheme for the fish quality element, including an element of intercalibration. However, it does not deliver this until 2004 and does not include data/sites from Scotland, Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland. 6. Reference conditions for fish quality element metrics depend on successfully identifying reference sites. In ecoregion 17, high quality sites have been selected as potential reference sites, based upon long-term monitoring, verification pending. Scotland is to identify the best available water bodies, subject to a REFCOND check of anthropogenic pressures and ecological criteria. 7. There are no established classification schemes using the ecological quality response approach for fish in the UK (although a current Peter Maitland project may contribute to this). Some classification schemes operate in other EU states (eg. Austria for alpine lakes). 8. Development of ecological classifications based on fish is achievable but metrics have to be derived by the most appropriate method or combination of methods for UK lakes and rivers. 9. Methods can be separated according to practicality, cost-effectiveness and specific utility for water body types. 10. Methods/metrics could be used for Risk assessment, Operational Monitoring and Investigatory Monitoring - with progressive levels of certainty. (This largely depends on the intensity of monitoring). 11. To achieve statistically robust classification might often require a combination of techniques to collect appropriate data. 12. It appears to be possible to assemble a list of methods grouped for suitability and utility for various WFD purposes. But they require standardization. 13. Current data is very sparse for WFD classification - this requires an overall UK strategy.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Water Framework DirectiveRiversLakesWater qualityClassification systemsStandardsPopulation dynamicsFishesEcology
Extent: 25
Total file downloads: 19

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