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Marine Science


Eel group says it won’t support Hinkley Point development

Eel group says it won’t support Hinkley Point development

Concerned about the potential implications for migratory fish species, including the critically endangered European eel, the Sustainable Eel Group says it will not support the  Hinkley Point C nuclear power development in south-west England unless significant modifications are made to the existing  proposals.

A statement from the group said: “It is well-documented that the Bristol Channel has the largest, most significant population of migrating eels in the British Isles, recent surveys indicating the annual arrival  migration of glass eels at 75 million tonnes, about five per cent of returns in Europe. The  designation of the Severn Estuary as a RAMSAR reserve and Site of Special Scientific  Interest is testament to the international significance of this wetland landscape.

“And yet, the developer has thus far failed to demonstrate their commitment to take any  measures necessary to ensure net zero impact on the environment, as required by environmental and planning law.

“There is no evidence of high-quality scientific research having been undertaken to monitor the potential impact on migratory fish populations by the company or its partners.  There has been no expressed commitment to consultation with relevant environmental  conservation organisations. Further, the legal requirements for a study to determine appropriate countermeasures and fiscal compensation have not been met.

“The Sustainable Eel Group and its partners calls upon the developer to revise their  proposals to incorporate the ‘best available technology’ in the form of an acoustic fish  deterrent, and to mitigate potential impacts on wildlife through close communication  with experienced environmental conservation professionals. Such safeguards should be  expected from an advanced developer operating in a highly protected environment.

“The organisation will stand with its partners in conservation, in landscape management,  and in-land fisheries to oppose any development on the Hinkley Point site until these  specifications are accounted for.”