MEP Michal Wiezik and MEP Carmen Avram will chair the webinar “Biodiversity and hydropower: a Green Deal for migratory fish?” organised by the European Parliament Forum on Recreational Fisheries and Aquatic Environment, with the support of the European Anglers Alliance (EAA) and the European Fishing Tackle Trade Association (EFTTA).
The webinar will take place on 28 October 2020, from 11:00 to 13:00.
The European Commission aims, through its European Green Deal, to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, notably by significantly increasing the share of renewables in the energy production. With the Green Deal, the EU has set the course for the decarbonisation of the continent, but it has also announced a wider environmental ambition, including concerning biodiversity.
A recent report by the World Fish Migration Foundation highlighted the dramatic decline in migratory freshwater fish species. On average, migratory fish species have declined by 93% since 1970 in Europe. There is an urgent need for action, in order for Europe to deliver on biodiversity protection and restoration. The Biodiversity Strategy adopted in May 2020 and its implementation will be crucial to reverse negative trends. The objective to restore 25,000 km of rivers as free flowing by 2030 points to the right direction.
At the same time, the pressure of hydropower dams on Europe’s rivers is immense and keeps growing every year, with more than 20,000 existing plants and more than 8,000 additional ones being planned. The WFMF report identifies dams and hydropower plants as one of the major threats to aquatic biodiversity, because of their well-documented impact on water ecosystems.
The challenge is thus for the European Union to deliver on its decarbonisation objective, to produce energy from renewable sources, without putting further pressure on the aquatic environment and ecosystems. The event will discuss the Biodiversity Strategy roll-out and action plan in relation to European rivers, the implementation and enforcement of the Water Framework Directive, the impact of hydropower on European rivers, and the removal of dams.