Chapter 21. The European Water Framework Directive and its Implications for Catchment Management

  1. Derek Mills MSc, PhD, FIFM, FLS
  1. J. Solbé

Published Online: 20 NOV 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470995495.ch21

Salmon at the Edge

Salmon at the Edge

How to Cite

Solbé, J. (2003) The European Water Framework Directive and its Implications for Catchment Management, in Salmon at the Edge (ed D. Mills), Blackwell Science Ltd., Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470995495.ch21

Editor Information

  1. Atlantic Salmon Trust

Author Information

  1. Environmental, Dol Hyfryd, The Roe, St. Asaph, Denbighshire, LL17 OHY, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 NOV 2007
  2. Published Print: 7 JUL 2003

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780632064571

Online ISBN: 9780470995495



  • catchment management;
  • water framework directive;
  • river basin management;
  • water regulation;
  • European Union



This chapter contains sections titled:

  • If salmon are ‘at the edge’, in the sense of ‘under threat’, some of the causes of this situation must be sought in the quality of the various waters in which they spawn, spend their early lives, migrate through en route to the open sea and on their return to their natal streams. Such waters - defined in the Water Framework Directive (WFD) as ‘rivers’, ‘lakes’, ‘transitional waters’ (typically estuaries) and ‘coastal waters’ - their status and plans for their improvement and protection are the subject of the Directive. It is no longer sufficient (and never has been) to make isolated studies of potential stresses on wild populations: the broadest possible view is required or resources may be used up on tackling the consequences and not the root cause of ecological damage. The clean-up of European estuaries seems to be making good progress, but migratory salmonid populations are still a cause for concern.

  • This paper presents the objectives of the WFD, timetables for its implementation and key points in its modus operandi, such as the concept of river basin management and improvement targets based on optimal ecological quality for each area, concluding with a discussion of the question: ‘What does this all mean for the Atlantic salmon?’