Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Protecting fish from river development

Date:
October 25, 2012
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
Research in the UK is helping protect fish that inhabit rivers and estuaries impacted by dams and power plants.

Research at the University of Southampton is protecting fish that inhabit rivers and estuaries impacted by dams and power plants.

Biologist Dr Paul Kemp, from the University's International Centre for Ecohydraulics Research (ICER), helps engineers developing hydropower to understand fish behaviour and come up with innovative ways to keep them away from turbines and intake systems.

Dr Kemp is looking at behavioural attraction and repulsion and other aspects of fish behaviour, including distribution and routes of migration. Some fish, such as salmon and trout, exhibit avoidance of some hydrodynamic cues, such as acceleration of flow. This can reduce the number that may go down an abstraction point, for example into a turbine or other water supply off-take, but is negative when wanting fish to go down fish passes that also tend to have accelerating flows.

"Fish ladders are not new technology. There are records in 13th century England of a need to provide a space within weirs to allow salmon to reach upstream spawning grounds, which had to be wide enough to allow a well fed pig to stand sideways without touching the sides," says Dr Kemp. "It's thought this 'King's Gap' dates back to the days of Richard the Lionheart, but we need to be more sophisticated now to protect species from harm.

"What we really want to do is to tap into aspects of fish behaviour to manipulate their distribution and movement to increase the probability of deterring them from hazardous areas, such as turbine and water supply intakes, while diverting or attracting them to other preferred routes, fish passes for example," Dr Kemp adds.

Work in this area has historically focused on salmon but has now broadened to include several species of fish that could be threatened by engineering work to modify rivers and control the flows of water. Research is underway around the world including China's Yangtze River, and the mighty Amazon and scientists at Southampton use the flumes at the University's science park to examine fish behaviour in response to hydrodynamics encountered at dams.

Another major area of Dr Kemp's research concerns eels, after their population fell by 90 per cent over the past two decades. The adults, which leave freshwater rivers to swim thousands of miles to the Sargasso Sea to spawn and die, are replaced by their tiny young that make the arduous trip back to populate European rivers. Due to the collapse in eel stocks, this species is now protected by EU legislation and the CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of wild fauna and flora).

However, both adult and young eels, called elvers, are still at risk of being sucked into water-cooling systems at power stations or being chopped up by hydropower turbines. Much work remains to be done in protecting the eels; researchers at Southampton are investigating whether changing the lighting or acoustics near inlet pipes could encourage them to keep away.

Dr Kemp adds: "Eels are slightly different and less sensitive to hydrodynamic cues than some other species of fish and alternative approaches are needed for them. We are looking at the combined effects of different types of cues -- hydrodynamics, acoustics and lights for example to increase the probability of inducing a desired response."

For more information about Dr Kemp's work, please visit: http://www.icer.soton.ac.uk


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Protecting fish from river development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 October 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095438.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2012, October 25). Protecting fish from river development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095438.htm
University of Southampton. "Protecting fish from river development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121025095438.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Dogs Appear To Become Jealous Of Owners' Attention

Newsy (July 23, 2014) A U.C. San Diego researcher says jealousy isn't just a human trait, and dogs aren't the best at sharing the attention of humans with other dogs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Professor Creates Site Revealing Where People's Cats Live

Newsy (July 23, 2014) ​It's called I Know Where Your Cat Lives, and you can keep hitting the "Random Cat" button to find more real cats all over the world. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins