Forcing France to open the way for the Rhine Salmon


Now is the time to act: A large international coalition of environmental and fishing organizations brought together by the WWF has launched an international appeal to make the Upper Rhine River accessible to salmon all the way to Switzerland.

Eight hydroelectric dams between Strasbourg and Basel owned by the French group Electricité de France (EDF, majority-owned by the French government) currently prevent the free passage of migratory fish. Only two of them have even carried out preliminary studies for fishway projects. The reintroduction of salmon thus remains unfinished, despite significant investments and success in the downstream part of the Rhine.

According to the ICPR (International Commission for the Protection of the Rhine) programme, the Rhine must become passable to migratory fish from the Atlantic to Basel, Switzerland by 2020. At the rate EDF is progressing, this won’t happen before 2040!

The first part of the 12 000 signatures has been delivered to the French Minister of Ecology during the Rhine Ministers’ conference in Basel on October 28.

France and EDF seems to move. A project has been announced at the Rhine minister conference it will be  presented soon to our collation . This is a great success, lets continue !

The time is right, because the Netherlands has just decided to open the floodgates of the Haringsvliet dam in the Rhine delta by 2018, in order to facilitate the passage of fish during their migratory period.

Petition to the President of the French Republic

Dear Mr President,

The Rhine’s salmon population is attempting to re-conquer the Upper Rhine all the way to Basel, Switzerland and beyond. They are trying to return to their original spawning grounds on the Rhine and its tributaries in Switzerland, Alsace, and the German Black Forest. These waterways served as major salmon breeding areas for centuries, until hydroelectric dams blocked both upstream and downstream access.

In the last few years, many of the obstacles to salmon migration have become passable. Currently, only the eight French dams on the Upper Rhine in Alsace present a barrier to salmon migration.
Therefore, we the undersigned urge the French government to take action to restore salmon migration to the Franco-German part of the Rhine River by 2020.

France and Electricité de France bear great responsibility for the welfare of salmon, particularly on the Rhine. Act now to restore the free movement of salmon on the Rhine River!


The “Salmon Come Back” campaign is launched by WWF Switzerland and coordinated internationally by ERN (European Rivers Network)

The “Salmon Come Back” campaign is launched by WWF Switzerland and coordinated internationally by ERN (European Rivers Network)
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