A number of freshwater fish receive protection under the following legislation:
- The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended).
- The Conservation of Habitat and Species Regulations 2010.
- Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975 (amended).
- Eels (England and Wales) Regulations 2009.
The UK’s freshwater systems are also regulated through:
- The Water Environment (Water Framework Directive), (England and Wales) Regulations 2003.
Many of the UK’s freshwater systems support populations of fish which are important internationally. Where these are identified by statutory agencies, they are designated as Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) as required by the EU Habitats Directive, and receive strict protection under the UKs Habitats Regulations.
When do I need to get in touch?
If your project is likely to affect a waterway it should always be assessed for protected species and for any effects to freshwater species, such as fish or white-clawed crayfish. Consideration of the presence of fish populations and the life stage of fish present can have significant implications regarding:
- Project design.
- Consenting requirements.
- Project programme (potential for significant seasonal restrictions).
- Pollution control and monitoring.
- Working methods.
We recommend consideration of potential implications on fish at an early stage in project development.
How can EcoNorth help me?
EcoNorth uses our extensive experience of informing and overseeing works in freshwater environments to inform project requirements. Where fish are a potential consideration in any project, we typically undertake Fish Habitat Assessments which can identify the suitability of the study area for different life stages of fish. We can advise you on aquatic protection methods and water quality monitoring
We apply best practice guidelines, and in-depth knowledge of UK ecology and habitat requirements. We then present the results in our detailed professional reports to inform and support your project planning application or other consenting process.