Atlantic Aquatic Resource Conservation
combining high quality science with practical help for rivers
Atlantic Aquatic Resource Conservation (AARC) was a collaborative effort between several European institutions, and combined high quality science with practical help for rivers around the Atlantic coast. This was achieved by working at the appropriate scale to the problem in hand, using a variety of different approaches; including conservation genetics, river restoration, aquaculture and educational approaches across the European partners. AARC has yielded fantastic results in both academia and practical restoration.
Amongst its many achievements, the creation of a genetic database that allows us to link marine and freshwater fisheries provides a new insight into the migratory behaviour of trout. Before this if a sea trout was caught at se there was no clue as what river stock it belonged to, even if that river stock was verging on the edge of extinction. Now if someone catches a sea trout at sea we can tell which river it came from, and the link between freshwater and marine fisheries management is made.
AARC has also become well established as a research group, with several publications in peer reviewed journals (To view these papers click here).
Even though AARC has ended work will continue in several different ways. Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes will be continued and be improved; for example anglers will pay landowners to fish their rivers under an ‘Angling Passport Scheme’ which gives landowners an incentive to look after their rivers (For info about the Westcountry Angling Passport scheme click here). Educational courses will also continue after the end of the project. Improved stocking and aquaculture management techniques will be promoted and continue to be developed. River assessment data will provide a benchmark for future restoration activities and the river access network will be enjoyed for years to come by the public.