The sea lamprey is one of the most threatened fish species in Sweden. It is listed as Endangered EN on the 2020 Swedish red list. Inventories from the last years indicate that the annual breeding population does not exceed 100 individuals. This is to be compared with an estimated population size of 1500 spawners in 2008.
Sea lamprey. Illustration: Linda Nyman
The present breeding range extends along the Swedish west coast from the Norwegian border to north-west Skåne. As with all anadromous species it has suffered from the establishment of hydropower stations and other barriers in rivers. It cannot pass traditional pool-and-weir fishways, and therefore it is restricted to the lower parts of exploited rivers. During the parasitic life-stage at sea it is assumed to suffer from the consequences of over-fishing, notably the lack of large marine fish.
Conservation actions are obviously urgently needed. A single species action plan was recently decided upon for the period 2020−2024. The work is jointly led by the County Administrative Boards in Halland, Västra Götaland, and Skåne, with support from the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and SLU Swedish Species Information Centre.
In order to exchange knowledge , and receive necessary input from the scientific community the County Administrative Board of Halland County, Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and SLU Swedish Species Information Centre planned an international seminar to be held in Falkenberg in late June 2020. The meeting was obviously cancelled, but we have tried to keep a sea lamprey network open since then. When it became clear that no real-life meeting could be arranged in 2021, we instead decided to arrange a shorter webinar.
The webinar was held on the 22 of April 2021, and gathered 30+ participants from Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, France, Portugal, and Sweden. Participants were able to take part in 10 presentations from advanced genomics to public awareness campaigns.
13.00 Welcome and introduction!
15.10 Short break
16:20 Short discussion – focus on migration, migration barriers and fish passages.
Any other matter!
17:00 Tentative end