Home - Mission - A Four Part Strategy



  • Protection of the eel

    Following a sudden drop in the 1980s, the population of European eels has continued its decline.
    The Council of ministers of the European Union in September 2007 voted a European regulation setting up measures for the recovery of the Eel stock.

A public/private research programme to save the European eel

The eel management plan includes an ambitious R&D programme. "The goal is to better understand eel behaviour and to assess and reduce the impact of structures on species migration and mortality", explains Michel Larinier, an engineer at the Ecohydraulic research centre in Toulouse.

An agreement was signed between Onema, Ademe and hydroelectrical companies, setting up 18 projects for 2008-2009 in a wide range of fields, including the passage of structures by young eels, an assessment of the cumulative impact of structures during the migration of adult eels, precise prediction and identification of migration periods, research and tests of technological and structure-management solutions in view of reducing the impact, the acquisition of innovative monitoring techniques, etc. The programme, with a budget of almost 5 M€, is funded by EDF (58%), Onema (21%), GDF SUEZ (13%), Ademe, France Hydroélectricité and other partners (8%). "Given its size and the diversity of the topics covered, this programme, for which the steering committee is chaired by Onema, is today unique in Europe", stresses Michel Larinier.