Project Rijskwaterstaat

A first project to restore juvenile fish habitats with the Dutch water agency

The Rijkswaterstaat is the Dutch governmental organism managing the water, from the water supply to aquatic ecosystems, including waterways.

With its immense network of canals and ports, the Netherlands has lots of artificialised areas, where habitats available to fish are few compared with the number of canals. There is therefore a strong interest in providing suitable habitats for fish juveniles within this network on an ad hoc basis. This way it will be possible to maintain a good ecological connectivity between the different ecosystems and protect the different aquatic species that live in these artificial waterbodies. A new solution for Dutch aquatic biodiversity.

The first aim of this project was to validate the functioning of Biohut artificial habitats among the different types of Dutch inland waters. Thus, in April 2019, after several months of preliminary studies, 50 Biohut were installed under floating pontoons of 6 sites all over the Netherlands. The Biohuts contain different types of substrates to see which ones adapt better to the needs of local freshwater species. We used oyster shells like in most of our Biohuts but also small oak logs and recycled expanded glass.

These Biohuts and the species that live in them will be monitored during two years by an independent study office. At the end of these two years, the results will allow the process to be validated by Rijkswaterstaat, and will then enable the number of Biohuts to be extended to other locations throughout the Netherlands.

Long live the Dutch fish !

Ecological restoration