Posted 17th Mar 2016 by Peter Byrne
Government plans to remove man-made obstacles will allow fish to swim wherever they want
The plans have been passed to allow fish to swim up and down rivers, in an attempt to stop the declining number of freshwater fish stocks.
The migration that takes place within rivers and also between rivers and the sea plays a key role in the life cycle of many of the species of fish that are native to England. Yet it is not surprising to find their journeys halted by structures such as weirs or water intakes. This in turn can hamper attempts to reproduce or feed.
Recently, the Government has been focusing on legislation that will either remove obstructions or help to build passes that will allow fish to either swim around or through these obstacles.
It is hoped that legislation will help species such as salmon to increase in number, with Eustice commenting: "Improving and restoring our rivers is key to the Government's vision for a cleaner, healthier environment – but we can't do this alone. That's why the work of organisations like The Rivers Trust is so important, and we are increasingly working in partnership to take action to protect iconic species like salmon, including by ensuring them safe passage in our rivers."
He went on to say: "Addressing the decline in fish stocks not only benefits the environment, but boosts the economy too, improving angling opportunities and benefiting commercial freshwater fisheries, helping the rural economy to thrive."
These new moves were gratefully welcomed by The Rivers Trust, as chief executive Arlin Rickard said: "We welcome the introduction of new legislation by the Government to promote the free passage of fish and other benefiting species. Our national network of Rivers Trusts will be working closely with water companies, drainage authorities, river owners and farmers to seek cost effective solutions to enable fish to migrate freely throughout our rivers."
Image courtesy of Getty / DigitalVision / Digital Vision