Improved production strategies for endangered freshwater species (IMPRESS)

Improved production strategies for endangered freshwater species (IMPRESS)

IMPRESS will provide a new generation of researchers with the multidisciplinary skills and competences needed to oversee new stocking strategies for Europe’s most important and threatened freshwater fish species


More about the project

IMPRESS is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions funded by the EU Research and Innovation Programme Horizon 2020. The project brings together experts from inter-disciplinary fields of expertise ranging from molecular biology to social sciences and runs for 4 years from January 2015.

The main objectives of IMPRESS are:

  • To develop innovative production strategies for the conservation and management of endangered freshwater fish species
  • To train a new generation of researchers with multi-disciplinary skills needed in the emerging field of reintroduction biology

Three key European diadromous species are included in IMPRESS ;

  • the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar)
  • the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and
  • sturgeons (Family Acipenseridae).

Over-exploitation and anthropogenic activities have critically endangered wild populations of these fish groups, especially sturgeons. The main flaw of past stock enhancement is high post-release mortality, and therefore the researcher training in IMPRESS will build upon recent scientific advances to develop innovative production regimes resulting in increased survival rates of released fish.

This paradigm shift in stock enhancement strategies will require changes at every level of the production cycle, from broodstock management and gamete quality to hatchery design. New in vitro and -omics technologies will be developed to solve current bottlenecks in the production cycle of sturgeons. IMPRESS will also train young researchers on the social dimensions of this complex issue, including the need to encourage a closer dialogue with the important stakeholders responsible for national and regional stocking programmes. Through dissemination and public engagement, all IMPRESS fellows will work actively to increase public awareness on the importance of these key fish species to freshwater biodiversity, and on the major societal benefits of healthy fish populations.

Read more about the project  on EUs official site for IMPRESS.

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