Fish fauna study in Aoos and Sarantaporos

Fish fauna study in Aoos and Sarantaporos

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In September 2023 MedINA completed two cycles of fish fauna samplings in the Aoos River Basin.

The fish fauna samplings were carried out by experts using the electrofishing method in the unprotected part of the Aoos river basin and mainly in the sub-basin of the Sarantaporos river, where dozens of Small Hydroelectric Projects (SHPPs) are planned, as well as at the Konitsa irrigation dam, in order to determine whether the latter represents an existing pressure on the longitudinal connectivity of the river and the fish fauna species present in it.

The aim of the study is to enhance the knowledge and scientific data on the fish fauna of the area, which is incomplete, in order to further justify the need for institutional protection of the entire Aoos River basin and to develop a strong justification and argumentation for the designation of specific areas as no go areas. After all, both the finalised Special Environmental Study 11a and the National Action Plan for the endemic Trout Species classify the development of small hydroelectric power plants in the sensitive area of the Aoos river basin as the main and first threat to the ecosystem and the rare biodiversity species it hosts.

The results of the study will be used to formulate policy proposals towards the restoration of existing pressures and threats and will be available to the local communities of the area for any use.

We would like to thank the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Decentralized Administration of Epirus – Western Macedonia and the Forestry Directorate of the Ministry of Environment and Energy for their cooperation during the licensing process that preceded the samplings, as well as the Forestry Department of Konitsa, NECCA and the Management Unit of the Northern Pindos National Park for their support.

The study is being conducted in the framework of the project “Ri-Connect: the Aoos River as a transboundary ecological corridor”, implemented by the Mediterranean Institute for Nature and Anthropos (MedINA) and funded by PONT.

Photos © A.Pappa/MedINA.