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Fish migration from a Water Framework Directive perspective

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Presentation on theme: "Fish migration from a Water Framework Directive perspective"— Presentation transcript:

1 Fish migration from a Water Framework Directive perspective
Launch of the Living North Sea Project 26 March 2010, Ghent Dr. Ursula Schmedtje DG Environment, European Commission

2 Outline WFD principles and main objectives
Ecological status – fish fauna as biological quality element WFD and hydromorphology – importance for fish migration

3 Main WFD objectives

4 WFD – general principles
Protecting all water bodies, including transitional waters and coastal waters. Covering all impacts on waters. Achievement of good status in all water bodies and no deterioration of status. Good status: Ecological status Chemical status Quantitative status Water quality defined in terms of biology, chemistry and morphology Attention paid to socio-economic impacts, e.g. through a process of duly justified exemptions Slide 4 4

5 Diversity of uses, aspirations, pressures and impacts
Nature protection Tourism Agriculture Flood protection Industry Waste Water Drinking water Navigation & hydropower 5

6 WFD Timetable Transposition into national law Dec 2003
Administrative arrangements Dec 2003 Environmental analysis: Analysis of characteristics Assessment of human impacts Economic analysis of water use Dec 2004 Monitoring programmes Dec 2006 Public Participation starts Dec 2006 Significant water management issues Dec 2007 Draft river basin management plans Dec 2008 Final river basin management plans Dec 2009 Measures to be applicable at the latest Dec 2012 Implementation, adjustment till 2027 A number of significant deadlines have passed since the adoption of the Directive in 2000, however this year 2009, sees the most important rear for river basin management in Europe. At the end of 2008 draft River basin Management plans had to be prepared, and a 6 month consultation period had to start. At the end of 2009, this process shall lead to the establishment of river basin management plans for all river basin districts across EU and neighbouring countries where applicable. To answer what happens when the Member States do not implement the Directive as they should, the following slides will show how the Commission proceeds in checking implementation and if necessary follow)-up with legal action. Slide 6 6

7 River Basin Management Plans
Principles 1 - flexibility in WFD objective setting 2 - integration with other policies 3 - consider a wide range of measures 4 - transparency in decision making 5 - 6 year cyclic approach Notes for the Speaker: More information on the Directive, the implementation process and also the guidance documents are available on the internet. Slide 7 7

8 Ecological status

9 Ecological Status Definition:
“an expression of the quality of the structure and functioning of aquatic ecosystems associated with surface waters”.

10 WFD environmental objectives
Prevention of deterioration of the ecological and chemical status of all bodies of surface water Achievement of good surface water status of all European lakes, rivers, and coastal/transitional waters by 2015

11 Quality Elements Example: rivers
Biological elements (new!) Composition and abundance of phytoplankton Composition and abundance of macrophytes and phytobenthos Composition and abundance of benthic invertebrate fauna Composition, abundance and age structure of fish fauna Hydromorphological elements (new!) Hydrological regime River continuity Morphological conditions (including riparian zone) Chemical and physico-chemical elements General (oxygenation, nutrients, salinity, etc) Specific pollutants (synthetic and non-synthetic) The Directive specifies which elements should be part of the assessment of the ‘ecological status’. They are different for different categories of water. The Directive includes specific definitions for each of these elements at high, good, moderate status. Holistic assessment of the structure and function of the aquatic ecosystem.

12 Fish fauna Water categories
Rivers – lakes – transitional waters (not in coastal waters) Normative definitions (example: transitional waters) High status Species composition and abundance is consistent with undisturbed conditions Good status The composition and abundance of the disturbance-sensitive species shows slight signs of distortion from type-specific conditions attributable to anthropogenic impacts on physico-chemical or hydromorophological quality elements. Moderate status A moderate proportion of the type-specific disturbance-sensitive species are absent as a result of anthropogenic impacts on physicochemical or hydromorphological quality elements.

13 { { { { { Ecological Status HIGH GOOD MODERATE POOR BAD Classes No or
minimal Non-deterioration { Slight Restoration { Moderate { Major { Severe Courtesy Peter Pollard, Scottish Environment Protection Agency

14 What is intercalibration?
Legal obligation to harmonise the understanding of "good ecological status" across 27 Member States HIGH GOOD MODERATE POOR BAD Harmonise the result of national assessment systems (not the methods) to be comparable and consistent with the normative definitions Commission facilitates the exercise and publishes the results

15 WFD and hydromorphology

16 Drivers for hydromorphological pressures
Pressures on EU waters Drivers for hydromorphological pressures 5 10 15 20 25 Urbanisation Flood defence Navigation Hydropower Agriculture EU25 Notes for the Speaker: More information on the Directive, the implementation process and also the guidance documents are available on the internet.

17 Heavily modified water bodies
In case changes to the hydromorphological characteristics of that body which would be necessary for achieving good ecological status would have significant adverse effects on (e.g.) power generation, and In case the beneficial objectives served by the artificial or modified characteristics of the water body cannot, for reasons of technical feasibility or disproportionate costs, reasonably be achieved by other means, which are a significantly better environmental option: A water body can be designated as heavily modified and good ecological potential can be achieved instead of GES. Slide 17 17

18 Exemptions Time derogation (art 4.4) Lowered objectives (art 4.5)
Phased implementation to 2021 or even 2027 depending on technical feasibility and disproportionate costs Lowered objectives (art 4.5) Depending on technical infeasibility, disproportionate costs and/or natural condition New modifications for sustainable human developments or physical alterations of surface water bodies, or alteration level of ground waters (art 4.7) Benefits overriding public interest, consideration of alternatives – better environmental option Slide 18 18

19 New modifications WFD allows for deterioration by new modifications under strict conditions: No better environmental options Project is of overriding public interest/outweighing water protection benefits All mitigation measures are taken Project and reasons are reported in RBM Plan Other water bodies are not impacted/other objectives not impaired Often related to Habitats Directive Article 6.3



22 River Basin Management Plans … currently available
GREEN - River Basin Management Plan established ORANGE - consultations finalised, but plans not yet published. BLUE - consultations ongoing PURPLE - consultations not started or ongoing in a part of the country RED - consultations have not yet started

23 Guidance documents and further information

24 CIS Guidance Documents
… linked with ecological status assessment 2) Identification of Water Bodies 3) Analysis of Pressures and Impacts 4) Artificial and Heavily Modified Water Bodies 5) Transitional and Coastal Waters – Typology, Reference Conditions 6) Intercalibration Network and the Intercalibration Process 7) Monitoring of surface waters 10) Rivers and Lakes Typology 12) Wetlands 13) Classification of ecological status 14) Intercalibration Process 23) Eutrophication Assessment in the context of European Water Policies

25 More information Ecological status and intercalibration exercise:
(More technical information) EU Research projects linked to ecological status classification: AQEM STAR REBECCA Ursula.

26 Thank you for your attention.

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