Objectives

This project’s main objective is the elimination of hydro-morphological pressures identified in the project area (or, when not completely possible, their substantial mitigation), towards the reestablishment of conditions of a good ecological status, as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the applicable River Basin Management Plan.

To achieve such target, project actions include the integration of demonstrative solutions for re-naturalizing river morphology (and restoring/re-creating its associated aquatic/terrestrial habitats) with innovative solutions targeting complimentary issues. Those will have for aim translocation of European eel juveniles, setting up cost-effective tools for WFD monitoring needs and developing market differentiation mechanisms for the diadromous fish species that benefit from the project works.

Nonwhitstanding other which will also be monitored and assessed, project works are expected to deliver at least the following expected results:

  • 51 km of river stretches with improved ecological status (in the assessment of the WFD), considering mitigation of discontinuity, river morphology and conservation status of aquatic and terrestrial habitats;
  • 68 ha of improved structure and substrate of river bed and the associated reduction of siltage along 8 river stretches with restoration of lotic conditions;
  • impacts of 8 obstacles definitively removed from rivers Águeda and Alfusqueiro, creating conditions for continuity in 34 km of river corridor;
  • 3 prototype nature-like fish passes designed/installed, improving continuity in rivers Águeda and Alfusqueiro, with an expected change of 30 to 75% compared to actual levels;
  • 35 ha of agricultural plains with improved resilience to flooding due to improvement of riparian woods and riverbanks along 9000 m of river margins;
  • 30 ha of riparian galleries with improved ecological structure due to specific restoration works with autochthonous species and control/eradication of invasive alien flora;
  • 3 areas of terrestrial habitats improved for multiple use (including conservation, awareness raising and recreational/outdoor uses);
  • sustainable fisheries management throughout about 50 km of rivers, considering the implementation of regulation directed to marine, estuarine and freshwater commercial fisheries;
  • 1 pilot “mobile auction” system, directed at market differentiation of fish from the project area, fully operational and allowing to an improvement of fish market value by 25%;
  • 25 km of River Vouga with specific mitigation measures, allowing for ·500 000 of European eel juveniles to be translocated through a pilot solution for capture, transport and release in improved habitats;
  • 1 diadromous species classified as Critically Endangered directly benefitted;
  • 4 other endangered and protected species also benefited;
  • 1000 recreational fishers using a pilot application for volunteer monitoring;
  • 203.440 people from 12 municipalities reached by direct awareness raising;
  • at least 30 stakeholders involved;
  • almost 2 million people recorded as audience for TV documentary on project works;
  • at least one replication/transfer project proposed in Portugal;
  • at least one replication/transfer project with other EU beneficiaries.