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Report of the ICES Workshop on Lampreys and Shads (WKLS)

Abstract : The ICES Workshop on Lampreys and Shads (WKLS) was held in Lisbon, Portugal, from November 27th to November 29th 2014 and brought together a network of key scientists studying lampreys and shads, covering the countries where the bulk of these species populations are thought to occur (i.e., Portugal, Spain, France, UK and Ireland). It intended to assess the status and trends of lamprey and shad stocks, and to provide annual advice on the management of fisheries and other activities which have negative impacts on these species. Existing knowledge on species distribution, population delimitation, and the dynamics of lampreys and shads in the North Atlantic was discussed. During the workshop, experts made a review of the current status of habitat recovery and conservation efforts relevant for these species, and assessed the main conservation concerns. Causes of lamprey and shad mortality across the North Atlantic and the level of monitoring data available to support management decisions were described, and future directions for the sustainable exploitation 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 of talks by the invited participants from the several countries. This was useful to prepare and conduct the second day of the workshop, composed of a closed group meeting where the present report was prepared. In the last day of the workshop the group visited the fish passage of the Açude-Ponte Coimbra dam , an infrastructure built in 2011 by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA), that has allowed the upstream migration of about 30.000 sea lampreys and 11.000 shads in the 2013 and 2014 migration seasons. The group also visited a number of weirs located upstream of Açude‐Ponte dam that will be modified to permit passage of fishes further upstream. During the workshop the experts got new insights into several techniques being applied in the research of both shads and lampreys, for instance otolith microchemistry analysis and population genomics. They became aware of the alarming population status in some areas of their distributional range, and concluded that the marine phase is the part of their life history having the largest knowledge gaps. Also, despite efforts from researchers to identify priority areas for conservation, it became clear that the administrative organs often fail in defining SACs, or have difficulties in monitoring SACs themand in defining what 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 coordination between administrative organs, and between river, estuarine and marine jurisdictions, which brings challenges for assessment and management of these species across these connected ecosystems. There should also exist a more effective control of commercial fisheries, especially in rivers, for these species, as all catches are not declared and discrepancies can arise between declared catches and the actual situation at the markets. Finally, this workshop provided good opportunities for the establishment of new collaborations and partnerships between researchers, which will be of major importance for the preservation of stocks both of lampreys and shads.
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P.R. Almeida, Eric Rochard. Report of the ICES Workshop on Lampreys and Shads (WKLS). [Research Report] irstea. 2015, pp.224. ⟨hal-02602108⟩

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