Living North Sea


The Living North Sea project solved problems surrounding the management of fish species, which relied on moving between the North Sea and freshwater systems of partner countries. These species were under considerable threat, some even in hazardous decline.

Living North Sea brought together representatives from across the North Sea Region in a project that would make long lasting changes to the way that migratory fish species, whose stocks were shared between nations, were managed in the region. The project created a permanent management group for migratory fish of these habitats, which would continue to work collaboratively, but also tackle decision making processes ensuring project results could be integrated in future policies on the national and EU level.

01/03/2009 - 31/03/2013
2 - Promoting the Sustainable Management of our Environment
Area of Intervention
2.1 Sustainable development of the coastal land and sea areas through integrated coastal zone management
ERDF Grant
3,095,297.00 €
ERDF Equivalent
61,830.00 €
Total Eligible Budget
6,396,693.00 €
Lead Beneficiary
Association of Rivers Trusts, UK
Alistair Maltby
Tel: +44 1768 353017
Beneficiaries per Country
United Kingdom
Environment Agency
Tweed Foundation
Centre for Marine & Coastal Zone Management (CMCZM), University of Aberdeen
Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (CEFAS) Executive Agency of DEFRA
The Rivers Trust
The Netherlands
Regional Water Authority Hunze en Aa's
Regional Water Authority Noorderzijlvest
Regional Water Authority Waternet
Royal Dutch National Angling Organisation
INBO Research Institute for Nature & Forest
Municipality of Falkenberg
Odense Municipality
DTU Aqua National Institute for Aquatic Resources, section for Inland Fisheries
Norwegian Institute for Nature Research - NINA
Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institute, Federal Research Institute for Rural Areas, Forestry and Fisheries Institute for Fisheries Ecology
Background and Aim

To use Sustainable Coastal Zone Management techniques for key migratory species of the North Sea countries, share existing knowledge between countries and sectors and on populations and migratory routes to identify the essential gaps in knowledge that must be answered.

LNS prioritised geographical locations for work across the North Sea countries based on potential abundance and important habitats and zones for particular species. The project created a permanent management group for migratory fish of these habitats, which would continue to work collaboratively and tackle the decision making processes to ensure that the results of the Living North Sea project were firmly integrated into future national and European policies.

The Living North Sea project was constructed to solve the problems surrounding the management of fish species, which rely on moving between the North Sea and freshwater systems of partner countries. This was of particular importance where in some countries, authorities were spending vast sums of money artificially propagating fish, when the real solution, might be in marine, or even the waters of another country. A second problem related to the continued threat for migratory fish in fresh water ecosystems and included artificial barriers, pollution and habitat loss.

  • 19 demonstration sites for solutions to fish passage at man-made barriers
  • Management plan for sea trout in the North Sea Region
  • Genetic baseline for identifying significant shared populations & identifying the home rivers of fish at sea
  • Tools and collaborative processes for tracking fish at sea and identifying critical areas for marine spatial planning
  • Best practice manuals, expert advice and management group for fish migration issues
  • ICES working groups contributing to EU policy
  • WebGIS mapping tools for sharing fish migration barrier data & prioritising mitigation
  • Fish Migration Day – a long lasting public event
Project News
LNS Full Partners Meeting
Dates: 24/05/2011 - 26/05/2011
Fish Migration Day
Dates: 14/05/2011 - 14/05/2011
LNS Full Partners Meeting
Dates: 23/09/2010 - 24/09/2010
Media Launch
Dates: 26/03/2010 - 26/03/2010

LNS getting their feet wet at new fish pass site

Innovative solution to tide flap migration barriers

Dispair at LNS demonstration site!

Simple trap & transport methods for juvenile European eel

Fish tracking equipment fixed to North Sea buoys

Dam to be removed as part of LNS project

"By the time these glass eels are ready to return to the sea, we will have solved this problem". Flemish Environment Ministery

Witnessing fish killed by pumping stations to protect agricultural land

Press look on as glass eels are captured by opening tide doors at Nieuport

Flemish Environment Minister representative releases glass eels into polder with public commitment

Event Calendar
Events Archive