The actions of the Project

Like all projects financed by the LIFE instrument of the European Community, LIFEEL is structured according to a precise scheme of actions which include: a package of preparatory and preparatory actions for the actual conservation actions, indicated by the letter “A”; a package of conservation actions “C”, which includes all the concrete interventions put in place by the project for the conservation – in this case – of the target species Anguilla; a set of “D” actions to monitor the effectiveness of the conservation actions carried out by the project, for the verification of the actual results achieved; an “E” action group of dissemination, education and involvement of the various target groups and stakeholders identified by the project; an “F” group of actions to manage and coordinate all work and partnership. The actions of the LIFEEL Project:

Start of the Project

Progress 0%

With this initial action, each project partner takes the first strategic steps for the consolidation of the partnership, the definition of the working groups, the formation of the overall coordination and management team of the entire project, composed of representatives of all the partners: the so-called “STEERING COMMITTEE”. With this action are also identified and implemented the first of procedures for entrusting the external tasks foreseen and necessary from the first year, such as that related to the Project Manager.

What we have done

Protocol for the selection of the best breeders

Progress 0%
In the first year of the project, with this action a protocol is developed for the recognition and selection of the best breeders – the best “Silver eels” – to be released into the wild. This protocol is not only applied within the framework of the project (Action C1) with restocking, but is also promoted and encouraged its application by valley growers and breeders, in order to effectively increase the reproductive potential of the natural eel population.
The protocol is based on biometric parameters that are easy to measure and evaluate, to facilitate their application in the field as much as possible.
What we have done

Designing eels passages

Progress 0%
This action is preparatory to Action C3 of construction  the passages.
Specific structures are designed for the Eel, in particular for its youth stages, to allow it to overcome artificial barriers otherwise insurable in their journey of ascent of waterways to reach the areas of growth.
What we have done

Analysis and guidelines to favor the downstream migration to the sea in the Po basin

Progress 0%
This action addresses one of the threats that most affect the entire natural stock of eel, not only the population of the Po basin: the spread of hydroelectric power plants on the river grid. Mature eels, potential breeding animals that have embarked on their journey of descent of waterways into the sea, can come across turbines and the latter, if not properly designed, can turn out to be real deadly traps for eels. With this action will be carried out the first systematic reconnaissance of all the hydroelectric power plants present on the grid of main interest for the eel, in the plain basin of the River Po, coming to define the best mitigation solutions and therefore the GUIDELINES FOR THE COMPATIBILITY OF HYDROELECTRIC STRUCTURES WITH THE DOWNHILL MIGRATION OF SILVER EELS (sub-action A4.1). An experimental eel deterrence system will also be designed with sub-action A4.2: a device capable of deterring the eel from taking the water supply channel to the hydroelectric power plant.
What we have done

Plan of priority measures to restore river connectivity for eel

Progress 0%
With this action, or rather with sub-action A5.1, the first “Plan to restore the continuity and connection of the main river network at basin scale, both in Italy in the lowland sector of the Po basin, and in Greece, in the Basin of the River Nestos, will be drawn up.
With action A5.2, the GUIDELINES for the compatibility of hydroelectric works with the descent of Silver eels will instead be developed.
What we have done

Release of selected silver eels into the wild

Progress 0%

Throughout the project, using the selection protocol developed with action A2, Silver eels will be released annually, selected as “most promising” breeding, precisely to increase the reproductive potential of the natural population of eel. This action will be carried out in Italy and Greece. The technical and scientific coordination for the activities in Italy will be carried out by the University of Ferrara with the participation of the University of Bologna, the parks of the Po Veneto delta and Emiliano. In Greece, the action will be led by the Fisheries Research Institute – ELGO DIMITRA and in both countries the involvement of valliculture and fishermen will be crucial.

What we have done

Development of a captive breeding program for eels larvae and release into the wild

Progress 0%
The primary objective of this action is to contrast a practice that is still widespread throughout the range of the species of collection into the wild of large quantities of eels at youth stages for human consumption or breeding, however also aimed at consumption.
With this action a completely original method is developed and applied, to study by the University of Bologna for some years, which allows the reproduction in captivity of sexually mature subjects and therefore the first growth of larvae, until the moment of liberation into nature, which takes place at sea.
What we have done

Realization of eels passages for upstream migration of young eels

Progress 0%

The passages to allow free up-stream migration, specific to young eels, designed with the A3 action will be carried out in Italy at three different sites of the Po Delta and on the Panaro River and and in Greece, along the River Nesto At the Toxotes Dam. Two ramps that will be built on the Panaro River will be built not only for young eels, but for all fish fauna, thus restoring river connectivity in the stretch of plain and hill.

What we have done

Implementation of a deterrence system for downstream migration of eels

Progress 0%
With this action the experimental deterrence system designed during Action A4 will be realized and installed at the Creva dam (Province of Varese) on the Tresa River. The deterrence system will be calibrated and its effectiveness in deterring eel from taking the route to the turbines of the hydropower plant will be assessed.
What we have done

Monitoring the effectiveness of selected silver eels releases

Progress 0%
The purpose of this Action is to verify, on the one hand, the validity of the protocol for the selection of the best eel breeding animals developed with Action A2; on the other hand, the effectiveness of silver eels restocking in increasing the wild stock will be assessed.
What we have done

Monitoring the effectiveness of the passages built in Action C3 and monitoring of the deterrence system

Progress 0%
This Action monitors the ex-ante phase and  the ex-post phase the migration of eel specimens to environments where they will spend the accretion phase in the inland waters. The monitoring will verify the effectiveness of the eel passages built with the Action C3 and the effectiveness of the deterrence system installed at the Creva Dam. The latter will be useful for the implementation of the guidelines developed in Action A5.
What we have done

Monitoring of the results of the breeding programme for juvenile stages of eel

Progress 0%

Action D3 monitors and evaluates the success of the experimental protocol of production in captivity of the eel developed and implemented with Action C2.

What we have done

Monitoring of the overall impact of the project

Progress 0%

Fundamental action to evaluate the overall success of the Project and to calibrate the progress of the individual actions. It will be carried out throughout the project and will involve all partners.

What we have done

Information and awareness raising activities

Progress 0%

Project communication action, in this action will be implemented various initiatives and products aimed at informing and raising awareness among the population and the different categories of stakeholders about the urgency of taking action for the conservation of the eel and the activities of the project itself.

What we have done

Technical dissemination and networking

Progress 0%

Information, technical and scientific exchange and cooperation with other research groups dealing with similar activities in other parts of the European Union

What we have done

Project management and After LIFE activities

Progress 0%

Management and general coordination of the project ensured through a defined management structure that involves the whole partnership and is favored by the presence of a single Project Manager. In addition, the After LIFE plan will be drawn up and implemented when the project is completed, in order to give continuity to the eel conservation measures undertaken during the Project.

What we have done

The actions of the Project

Like all projects financed by the LIFE instrument of the European Community, LIFEEL is structured according to a precise scheme of actions which include: a package of preparatory and preparatory actions for the actual conservation actions, indicated by the letter “A”; a package of conservation actions “C”, which includes all the concrete interventions put in place by the project for the conservation – in this case – of the target species Anguilla; a set of “D” actions to monitor the effectiveness of the conservation actions carried out by the project, for the verification of the actual results achieved; an “E” action group of dissemination, education and involvement of the various target groups and stakeholders identified by the project; an “F” group of actions to manage and coordinate all work and partnership. The actions of the LIFEEL Project:

Start of the Project

Progress 0%

With this initial action, each project partner takes the first strategic steps for the consolidation of the partnership, the definition of the working groups, the formation of the overall coordination and management team of the entire project, composed of representatives of all the partners: the so-called “STEERING COMMITTEE”. With this action are also identified and implemented the first of procedures for entrusting the external tasks foreseen and necessary from the first year, such as that related to the Project Manager.

Protocol for the selection of the best breeders

Stato di avanzamento 0%
In the first year of the project, with this action a protocol is developed for the recognition and selection of the best breeders – the best “Silver eels” – to be released into the wild. This protocol is not only applied within the framework of the project (Action C1) with restocking, but is also promoted and encouraged its application by valley growers and breeders, in order to effectively increase the reproductive potential of the natural eel population.
The protocol is based on biometric parameters that are easy to measure and evaluate, to facilitate their application in the field as much as possible.

Designing eels passages

Stato di avanzamento 0%
This action is preparatory to Action C3 of construction  the passages.
Specific structures are designed for the Eel, in particular for its youth stages, to allow it to overcome artificial barriers otherwise insurable in their journey of ascent of waterways to reach the areas of growth.

Analysis and guidelines to favor the downstream migration to the sea in the Po basin

Stato di avanzamento 0%

This action addresses one of the threats that most affect the entire natural stock of eel, not only the population of the Po basin: the spread of hydroelectric power plants on the river grid. Mature eels, potential breeding animals that have embarked on their journey of descent of waterways into the sea, can come across turbines and the latter, if not properly designed, can turn out to be real deadly traps for eels. With this action will be carried out the first systematic reconnaissance of all the hydroelectric power plants present on the grid of main interest for the eel, in the plain basin of the River Po, coming to define the best mitigation solutions and therefore the GUIDELINES FOR THE COMPATIBILITY OF HYDROELECTRIC STRUCTURES WITH THE DOWNHILL MIGRATION OF SILVER EELS (sub-action A4.1). An experimental eel deterrence system will also be designed with sub-action A4.2: a device capable of deterring the eel from taking the water supply channel to the hydroelectric power plant.

Plan of priority measures to restore river connectivity for eel

Stato di avanzamento 0%
With this action, or rather with sub-action A5.1, the first “Plan to restore the continuity and connection of the main river network at basin scale, both in Italy in the lowland sector of the Po basin, and in Greece, in the Basin of the River Nestos, will be drawn up.
With action A5.2, the GUIDELINES for the compatibility of hydroelectric works with the descent of Silver eels will instead be developed.

Release of selected silver eels into the wild

Stato di avanzamento 0%

Throughout the project, using the selection protocol developed with action A2, Silver eels will be released annually, selected as “most promising” breeding, precisely to increase the reproductive potential of the natural population of eel. This action will be carried out in Italy and Greece. The technical and scientific coordination for the activities in Italy will be carried out by the University of Ferrara with the participation of the University of Bologna, the parks of the Po Veneto delta and Emiliano. In Greece, the action will be led by the Fisheries Research Institute – ELGO DIMITRA and in both countries the involvement of valliculture and fishermen will be crucial.

Development of a captive breeding program for eels larvae and release into the wild

Stato di avanzamento 0%
The primary objective of this action is to contrast a practice that is still widespread throughout the range of the species of collection into the wild of large quantities of eels at youth stages for human consumption or breeding, however also aimed at consumption.
With this action a completely original method is developed and applied, to study by the University of Bologna for some years, which allows the reproduction in captivity of sexually mature subjects and therefore the first growth of larvae, until the moment of liberation into nature, which takes place at sea.

Realization of eels passages

Stato di avanzamento 0%
The passages to allow free up-stream migration, specific to young eels, designed with the A3 action will be carried out in Italy at three different sites of the Po Delta and on the Panaro River and and in Greece, along the River Nesto At the Toxotes Dam. Two ramps that will be built on the Panaro River will be built not only for young eels, but for all fish fauna, thus restoring river connectivity in the stretch of plain and hill.

Implementation of a deterrence system for downstream migration of eels

Stato di avanzamento 0%
With this action the experimental deterrence system designed during Action A4 will be realized and installed at the Creva dam (Province of Varese) on the Tresa River. The deterrence system will be calibrated and its effectiveness in deterring eel from taking the route to the turbines of the hydropower plant will be assessed.

Monitoring the effectiveness of selected silver eels releases

Stato di avanzamento 0%
The purpose of this Action is to verify, on the one hand, the validity of the protocol for the selection of the best eel breeding animals developed with Action A2; on the other hand, the effectiveness of silver eels restocking in increasing the wild stock will be assessed.

Monitoring the effectiveness of the passages built in Action C3 and monitoring of the deterrence system

Stato di avanzamento 0%
This Action monitors the ex-ante phase and  the ex-post phase the migration of eel specimens to environments where they will spend the accretion phase in the inland waters. The monitoring will verify the effectiveness of the eel passages built with the Action C3 and the effectiveness of the deterrence system installed at the Creva Dam. The latter will be useful for the implementation of the guidelines developed in Action A5.

Monitoring of the results of the breeding programme for juvenile stages of eel

Stato di avanzamento 0%
Action D3 monitors and evaluates the success of the experimental protocol of production in captivity of the eel developed and implemented with Action C2.

Monitoring of the overall impact of the project

Stato di avanzamento 0%
Fundamental action to evaluate the overall success of the Project and to calibrate the progress of the individual actions. It will be carried out throughout the project and will involve all partners.

Information and awareness raising activities

Stato di avanzamento 0%
Project communication action, in this action will be implemented various initiatives and products aimed at informing and raising awareness among the population and the different categories of stakeholders about the urgency of taking action for the conservation of the eel and the activities of the project itself.

Technical dissemination and networking

Stato di avanzamento 0%
Information, technical and scientific exchange and cooperation with other research groups dealing with similar activities in other parts of the European Union.

Project management and After LIFE activities

Stato di avanzamento 0%
Management and general coordination of the project ensured through a defined management structure that involves the whole partnership and is favored by the presence of a single Project Manager. In addition, the After LIFE plan will be drawn up and implemented when the project is completed, in order to give continuity to the eel conservation measures undertaken during the Project.