IMPRESS – Improved production strategies for endangered freshwater species

Endangered Waters: saving Europes most iconic fish species

Fishing for food, income and cultural traditions is part of Europes identity. Three species in particular, the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), European Eel (Anguilla anguilla) and sturgeon family (Acipenseridae), have etched their way into the consciousness of millions of people who recognise them as icons of European fisheries and life. However, this long heritage is now threatened due to many challenges that have pushed two out of these three species onto the red list of critically endangered species, published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.

To save these species from extinction, those involved need to find a compromise between scientifically sound and locally acceptable solutions. This is where young researchers from various disciplines, ranging from molecular biology to environmental anthropology, can play a crucial role. They can help mend the gap between those whose livelihood depend on these endangered fish species, like fishing communities, and policymakers concerned with shaping conservation policies.