Clear the river for the salmon ! It’s time that salmon should be able to swim all the way to Switzerland again – this is the demand of a large international coalition of environmental and fishing organisations from the Rhine states. Specifically, they want the Upper Rhine between Strasbourg and Basel to be made passable by migrating fish. “The Rhine has to be restored to what it once was: Europe’s most important salmon river by far,” emphasises Ruedi Bösiger, Project Manager at WWF Switzerland. Eight French hydroelectric dams belonging to the predominantly state-owned Electricité de France (EDF) are currently preventing the free passage of migratory fish.
Only two of them (Strasbourg and Gerstheim) have project plans for the construction of suitable fish ladders. However, the International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine (IKSR) is calling for free passage from the Atlantic to Basel in both directions to be available by 2020. “If the French power station operators carry on at the same pace as now, we will not live to see the arrival of the first salmon, which is simply unacceptable,” says Roberto Epple of the European Rivers Network.
That is why fishermen and environmentalists from Germany, the Netherlands, France and Switzerland have founded an international coalition with a campaign that is to run for a number of years. Read the press release