WKLS 2015_Full report.pdf (7.08 MB)
Report of the Workshop on Lampreys and Shads (WKLS)
reportposted on 2015-09-16, 00:00 authored by ICESICES
The ICES Workshop on Lampreys and Shads (WKLS) was held in Lisbon, Portugal, 27–29November 2014, and brought together a network of key scientists studying lampreys andshads, covering the countries where the bulk of these species populations are thought tooccur (i.e., Portugal, Spain, France, UK and Ireland). It intended to assess the status andtrends of lamprey and shad stocks, and to provide annual advice on the management offisheries and other activities which have negative impacts on these species. Existingknowledge on species distribution, population delimitation, and the dynamics of lampreysand shads in the North Atlantic was discussed. During the workshop, expertsmade a review of the current status of habitat recovery and conservation efforts relevantfor these species, and assessed the main conservation concerns. Causes of lamprey andshad mortality across the North Atlantic and the level of monitoring data available tosupport management decisions were described, and future directions for the sustainableexploitation of these resources and the recovery of populations and habitats proposed.The first day of the workshop was opened for the general public and was composed oftalks by the invited participants from the several countries. This was useful to prepareand conduct the second day of the workshop, composed of a closed group meetingwhere the present report was prepared. In the last day of the workshop the group visitedthe fish passage of the Açude‐Ponte Coimbra dam, an infrastructure built in 2011 by thePortuguese Environment Agency (APA) that has allowed the upstream migration ofabout 30 000 sea lampreys and 11 000 shads in the 2013 and 2014 migration seasons. Thegroup also visited a number of weirs located upstream of Açude‐Ponte dam that will bemodified to permit passage of fishes further upstream.During the workshop the experts got new insights into several techniques being appliedin the research of both shads and lampreys, for instance otolith microchemistry analysisand population genomics. They became aware of the alarming population status in someareas of their distributional range, and concluded that the marine phase is the part oftheir life history having the largest knowledge gaps. Also, despite efforts from researchersto identify priority areas for conservation, it became clear that the administrative organsoften fail in defining SACs, or have difficulties in monitoring them and in definingwhat protections are given to species and habitats within SACs. As anadromous species,lampreys and shads need to be managed across freshwater, estuarine and marine habitats.However, in this meeting we concluded that in most countries there is a lack of coordinationbetween administrative organs, and between river, estuarine and marinejurisdictions, which brings challenges for assessment and management of these speciesacross these connected ecosystems. There should also exist a more effective control ofcommercial fisheries, especially in rivers, for these species, as all catches are not declaredand discrepancies can arise between declared catches and the actual situation at the markets.