Rare and Protected Fish Species
BUG is actively involved in the survey, research, conservation and management of rare and protected fish species; including sea lamprey, the critically endangered European eel and the legendary hump-backed mahseer of India’s River Cauvery.
- The sea lamprey is a species of conservation importance in the UK, listed under Annex II of the EC Habitats Directive. To date, conservation monitoring focusses on sampling the juvenile ammocoete life stage using electric fishing; however, this methodology is sensitive to the confidence associated with the preferred habitat use of the three lamprey species in the UK (river, brook and sea lamprey). For example, numbers (particularly of sea lamprey) could be underestimated due to preferences for deeper habitat (>2m) which is not sampled using the current techniques. In addition, more recently developed sampling techniques have been found to potentially be much more effective than electric fishing for sampling all species. A recent BUG publication highlights the use of rapid visual assessment of spawning activity and habitat utilisation and its implications for conservation monitoring.
- The European eel is of high conservation importance in a European context, reflected in the European Union European adopting Council Regulation No 1100/2007/EC of 18 September 2007 establishing measures for the recovery of the stock of European eel (the ‘EC Eel Regulation’). Implementation of this regulation is facilitated in the UK by the introduction of the Eels Regulations in England and Wales. BUG has considerable knowledge and experience of eel ecology and behaviour, particularly in relation to glass eel migration and recruitment. Dr Andy Harrison is at the forefront of developments and discussions with regard to implementation of the Eels Regulations.
How can BUG help?
BUG can offer a range of services, from providing expert scientific advice to large-scale ecological monitoring programmes:
- Lampreys surveys – sampling juveniles and adults
- Eel surveys – bespoke sampling for all life stages from glass eel recruitment to silver eel emigration
- Wide range of species – Atlantic salmon, shad, coregonids, European eel, lamprey, mahseer
- Population dynamics
- Genetic analysis
- Bespoke research programmes