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National University of Ireland – Galway

1. Lenihan, Eamonn. Studies on downstream migrating silver-phase European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in hydropower-regulated rivers .

Degree: 2020, National University of Ireland – Galway

Within the last 50 years, the European eel has gone from one of the largest freshwater fisheries resources throughout its range to being listed as critically endangered. A variety of factors have been implicated in this decline, but the exact causes remain poorly understood. However, during their downstream spawning migrations from rivers and lakes to the ocean, silver eels are exposed to considerable interference from in-channel structures and the biomass of eels successfully escaping from European rivers has greatly diminished. As a result of this decline, the European Union introduced Regulation EC No. 1100/2007. The key goal of this regulation is to enable, with a high probability, the escapement to the sea of at least 40% of the silver eel biomass that would exist under pristine conditions. All Member States with natural eel habitats were required to establish eel management plans (EMPs) that outlined measures to reduce anthropogenic mortality and to develop monitoring programmes to assess compliance with management targets. In this study, two mitigation measures aimed at reducing hydropower mortality were assessed. In the hydropower regulated rivers Shannon and Erne, eels are captured upstream of dams and transported downstream to river sections with good seaward connectivity. The efficiencies of these ‘trap and transport’ (T&T) programmes were evaluated. It was found that 630 tonnes of eels have been captured and released to date (2009 – 2019) and the quantities released have proven important for reducing anthropogenic mortality rates in line with the EU regulation. However, clear differences exist between the efficiencies of the Erne and Shannon programmes and it was found that the effectiveness of T&T as a mitigation measure is directly linked to the number of hydropower stations bypassed. Trap and transport is only intended as an interim solution while non-intrusive alternative methods are developed. An underwater strobe light array was evaluated in the lower River Shannon to determine its potential to deflect silver eels during their downstream migrations. Eels displayed strong negative phototaxis, with strobe lights reducing the biomass of eels passing a river section by 80.3%. The results of this study suggest that light arrays could be used in future to prevent eels from entering turbines, guide eels to safe bypass routes or to increase the capture efficiency of trap and transport operations. Monitoring programmes are required to assess the effectiveness of EMP measures and to assess compliance with the EU escapement target (40%). This requires that silver eel production (i.e. population size) and escapement are calculated annually. These values have traditionally been quantified using fisheries catch data. However, catch data is only considered robust where fishing is more or less constant throughout the migration period. Unfortunately, gaps frequently occur due to unfavourable environmental conditions or the implementation of fisheries regulations. This prompted the development of alternative… Advisors/Committee Members: Lawton, Colin (advisor), McCarthy, T. Kieran (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Silver eel; hydropower; spawning migrations; Anguilla; Natural Sciences; Science and Engineering; Zoology

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APA · Chicago · MLA · Vancouver · CSE | Export to Zotero / EndNote / Reference Manager

APA (6th Edition):

Lenihan, E. (2020). Studies on downstream migrating silver-phase European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in hydropower-regulated rivers . (Thesis). National University of Ireland – Galway. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10379/16402

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Lenihan, Eamonn. “Studies on downstream migrating silver-phase European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in hydropower-regulated rivers .” 2020. Thesis, National University of Ireland – Galway. Accessed January 18, 2021. http://hdl.handle.net/10379/16402.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Lenihan, Eamonn. “Studies on downstream migrating silver-phase European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in hydropower-regulated rivers .” 2020. Web. 18 Jan 2021.

Vancouver:

Lenihan E. Studies on downstream migrating silver-phase European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in hydropower-regulated rivers . [Internet] [Thesis]. National University of Ireland – Galway; 2020. [cited 2021 Jan 18]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10379/16402.

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

Council of Science Editors:

Lenihan E. Studies on downstream migrating silver-phase European eels (Anguilla anguilla) in hydropower-regulated rivers . [Thesis]. National University of Ireland – Galway; 2020. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/10379/16402

Note: this citation may be lacking information needed for this citation format:
Not specified: Masters Thesis or Doctoral Dissertation

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