The French National Agency for Water and Aquatic Environnements

NewsLetter #3

February 2009

Responding to future challenges of water and aquatic systems

What’s new ?

An Agreement with hydroelctricty producers for the safeguard of the eel

onemaEDF, GDF SUEZ group, France Hydroelctricity, la compagnie nationale du Rhône, la société hydroélectrique du Midi, The French Agency for Water and Aquatic Environments (ONEMA) and the ADEME signed an agreement in presence of the French Union for Electricity, the Ministry in charge of ecology, energy and sustainable environment (MEEDDAT) and the Ministry for Agriculture and Fishing (MAP). This agreement aims to engage common actions of research and development about the clearing of works by European eel.
Other actions for the recovery of the eel stock


Salmon conservation plan

The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organisation (NASCO), in which the European Union is a member, has laid out in its convention the major strategic guidelines to conserve Atlantic salmon and made a number of recommendations. The goal of NASCO is to contribute, through consultation and cooperation, to the conservation, restoration, enhancement and rational management of wild salmon stocks. It places particular weight on taking into account the best scientific evidence available to it.
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Monitoring the morphology of rivers


Changes in the morphology of rivers are one of the main obstacles to achieving good ecological status of aquatic environments. Onema is in charge of running an evaluation on the morphology of rivers and setting up a national monitoring program. Identification of the changes that have the greatest impact on aquatic environments and of the origin of pressures will make it possible to recommend protection and restoration measures. This vast project will bring together a wide range of partners.
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onemaRiver temperatures subjected to close scrutiny

Onema is in charge of setting up a national network to monitor the temperature of French rivers. Temperatures are of central importance in the current context of climate change. The network, covering the entire country, has three goals: determine the thermal regime of rivers over the long term; learn more on the links between temperature change and the dynamics of aquatic populations; in the future, maintain surveillance and issue alerts for sudden changes in temperature.
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An inventory of obstacles in rivers

The goal of the ecological continuity project is to draw up an inventory of all obstacles blocking flows in all French rivers and to assess the degree to which those obstacles block the movement of species and sediment. The project is managed by Onema to comply with the new regulations governing restoration of aquatic ecosystems. This vast project, bringing together a large number of partners, will identify the installations causing the greatest problems and make it possible to set priorities for corrective action.
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800 centers of control
Onema workers have counted fish population in 800 stationsof control and monitoring network (RCS) from may to October 2008.

These figures will be added to other information about the phytoplankton, invertebrate animals and physical and chemistry in order to evaluate the ecological status of rivers and artificial lakes. In total, the surveillance network is made up of 1500 stations for rivers and stations for artificial lakes.


"The Eel regulation in 14 questions and answers"
In this brochure, Onema gives some clues on the population of European eels decline and presents European measures for the recovery of the eel stock.
Have a look to the French version and read the English version


Pierre Steinbach, engineer at the Centre - Poitou Charentes regional office

Pierre Steinbach manages the inventory and analysis of obstacles to ecological continuity for the entire Loire-Bretagne basin
More information

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