Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Southampton researchers go with the flow to help protect endangered European eel

06.07.2015

New research led by the University of Southampton is paving the way to protect the endangered European eel as they migrate through rivers to the ocean.

The European eel, a fish of high cultural, commercial and conservation concern, has suffered a dramatic decline over recent decades, with the number of juvenile fish returning to rivers down by over 90 per cent.


An avoidance path taken by a downstream moving adult eel as they approached the hydropower intake, was obtained using 3-D acoustic telemetry.

Credit: University of Southampton

While several explanations (including overfishing, pollution and climate change) have been proposed for the cause of this demise, one of the key factors is river infrastructure, such as hydropower stations, that can injure or kill the long bodied adult fish as they migrate to the ocean and eventually to the Sargasso Sea where they spawn.

Because of their long bodies, eels that enter turbine intakes are likely be struck by the rotating blades, causing physical injury and high rates of mortality.

An international collaboration between fish biologists and engineers, led by researchers at the University of Southampton and involving the Environment Agency and the University of Padua in Italy, has now demonstrated the potential to use accelerating water gradients, common at many types of river infrastructure, to influence eel behaviour and produce an avoidance response.

In field experiments, Dr Adam Piper, from the University's International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research (ICER), used acoustic telemetry to track the paths of 40 tagged eels as they approached a hydropower intake site where the speed of water flows were manipulated.

The results of the research, published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B, demonstrated that eels exhibited stronger avoidance when the acceleration of water velocity was greater.

Initially, the eels aligned with streamlines near the channel banks and approached the intake semi-passively. Under normal water velocity, when the eels encountered the constricted flows of the intake, exploratory 'search' behaviour was common prior to coming into physical contact with structures. However, under high water velocity gradients, the eels swam in the opposite direction to escape rapidly back upstream.

Dr Paul Kemp from ICER and the project leader, said: "This interdisciplinary research provides hope that behavioural deterrents may be developed to divert eels away from hazardous routes during their downstream migration."

Media Contact

Glenn Harris
G.Harris@soton.ac.uk
44-023-805-93212

 @unisouthampton

http://www.southampton.ac.uk/

Glenn Harris | EurekAlert!

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>