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Monitoring program for freshwater fish

Project name: “Monitoring Program development for species and habitat types of EU interest” within the Operational Programme “Competitiveness and Cohesion” (OPCC) project “Development of Monitoring Systems for Species and Habitat Types” Lot 8: Development of a monitoring program for freshwater fish with capacity building of stakeholders in the monitoring and reporting system“

Client: Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development
Period: 6/2022 – 10/2023
Location: Croatia


This project aimed to develop and establish a system for monitoring the conservation status of freshwater fish to fulfil the obligations of the EU acquis, in particular the Habitats Directive. As part of the project “Development of a monitoring program for freshwater fish”, monitoring of the conservation status of 48 freshwater fish species of interest to the EU was established.

The outcome of this procurement is developed and tested conservation status monitoring programs for 48 freshwater fish species that contribute to the effective monitoring of their conservation status in a standardised and easily replicable way and whose implementation ensures a set of data that is available for all elements of the conservation assessment in accordance with the reporting forms under Art. 17 of the Habitats Directive required by the European Commission, as well as trained stakeholders of the monitoring and reporting system.

As part of the service, the following Work Packages (WP) 0 – 5 were completed:

Work Package 0: Development of a work plan for the execution of the contract
As part of this work package, we developed a work plan for the execution of the contract with the activities presented for each work package, as well as the planned resources required for the execution of the activities, the planned deadlines for the execution of the activities and the delivery, their content and the type of delivery.

Work package 1: Determination of the reference conservation status for freshwater fish
In this work package, we collected all published and available unpublished data on freshwater fish to determine zero values (baseline values) for 48 freshwater fish species. The determination of the reference status for the conservation of freshwater fish is based on the Reporting Guidelines 2013-2018 and the determination of the reference situation is based on the results of the report of the Republic of Croatia under Art. 17 of the Habitats Directive 2019 and other relevant documents. We also prepared an expert basis for the determination of zero values (baseline values) for 48 freshwater fish species, which contains an overview of the values for each species per biogeographical region for the purpose of assessing conservation status. Reference values were established for the following elements: distribution, range and population size.

Work package 2: Development of a proposal for a conservation monitoring program for freshwater fish
As part of this work package, proposals for a conservation monitoring program for 48 freshwater fish species to establish an efficient and standardised system of conservation monitoring for freshwater fish were made. The implementation of the conservation monitoring program should ensure the collection of data on the basis of which all elements of the conservation assessment contained in the reporting forms can be answered.

Work package 3: Review of proposals for conservation monitoring programs for freshwater fish
The activities of this work package include the development of a test plan for the monitoring program proposal, the testing of the monitoring program proposal and the preparation of the report on the tests of the monitoring program. As part of these activities, a monitoring program proposal test plan was developed that includes the temporal-spatial dynamics and research effort that must be undertaken to gather sufficient information on the feasibility and effectiveness of each monitoring program proposal. In accordance with the plan to test the monitoring program proposal through field and office work, we tested all elements of the monitoring program proposal for the conservation of 48 freshwater fish species. Following the testing of the monitoring program, a report on the completed testing of the conservation monitoring program for 48 freshwater fish species was produced.

Work package 4: Refinement of the proposal for the freshwater fish conservation monitoring program
As part of this work package, in accordance with the results of the tests carried out in WP3, the monitoring program proposals were updated to correct certain elements of the program in line with the test results. Once finalised, final conservation monitoring programs for 48 freshwater fish species were established.

Work package 5: Training of stakeholders (monitoring and reporting systems) to monitor the conservation status of the freshwater fish
Within this work package, we strengthened the expertise of all stakeholders in the monitoring and reporting system, including central state administration bodies responsible for nature protection, agriculture, forestry, water management, fisheries, culture and economy, public institutions for the management of protected areas and Natura 2000 ecological network areas at national, regional and local level, regional and local self-government units, Croatian Waters, Croatian Forests and civil society organisations active in the field of nature protection. The technical activities under this work package included the development of the Stakeholder Education Plan and the organisation and implementation of 17 educational workshops on freshwater fish conservation status monitoring programmes, including education on methods and participation in the implementation of the freshwater fish conservation status monitoring program. The workshops are organised in all three biogeographical regions of Croatia. After the workshops, a document was prepared – “Stakeholder Education Report”.

Oikon d.o.o.
Oikon d.o.o.