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Forum Fish Protection and Downstream Fish Migration – Opening Event

Forum Fish Protection and Downstream Fish Migration – Opening Event

26 April 2012

On 26 April 2012 in Bonn, Germany, the opening event of the newly begun Forum on "Fish Protection and Downstream Fish Migration" took place on the premises of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, and Reactor Safety (BMU). Approximately 120 participants, including representatives of water utilities, other departments of the federal and state governments, fisheries, trade organizations, and the energy industry in addition to other scientists and engineers, met at the conference center in Bonn to discuss the main themes of the forum and hear the opinions of external experts.

Fish protection and fish migration in rivers - those are the topics that the forum will take up in the future. The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is organizing 5 thematic workshops on these topics in the coming three years in addition to a large closing event. As part of this event series, a mutual understanding of the existing problems should be agreed upon and preliminary solutions as well as the need for research and measures should be formulated.

The opening event was kicked off by undersecretary Rolf-Dieter Dörr (BMU) who also moderated the morning session.

Two well-known experts were present at the opening event, namely Professor Stephan Schmutz (BOKU, Vienna) and Andreas Knutti (Swiss Federal Environment Agency, Bern), who were presented the importance of fish protection and fish migration from the perspective of our German-speaking neighbors. Following this, the forum and its operating principles were explained by Stephan Naumann (UBA) and Ulf Stein (Ecologic Institute).

The moderation of the afternoon session and the final discussion was taken over by Dr. Volker Mohaupt (UBA) together with Professor Stefan Schmutz (BOKU).

The goal of the afternoon session was to discuss the important elements of the core themes for the first time and to sketch the extent of their content and their potential direction. First of all, the definitions and applications of each core theme, as well as the problems that it addresses, needed to be cleared up, and this was debated within the forum. Impromptu presentations were given by Dr. Jörg Rechenberg (UBA), Karsten Pehlke (TMLFUN), Dr. Ulrich Schwezers (Institute for Applied Ecology), Ullrich Dumont (Engineering Office Floecksmühle), and Lother Kroll (Eel Protection Initiative of Rheinland-Palatinate) about the relevant aspects of the themes.

Additionally and complementarily, the available results of the online poll were reported. The online poll was carried out as preparation for the event in order to determine the core themes and the preferred methods of communication and exchange.

Basic positions, additional contributions, and critical points were discussed over the course of the day and in the closing discussion for the forum.

The presentations are available on the forum’s website.