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From fish to sensor: innovative technology for quantifying fish safety of pumps in support of river management and the conservation of eel and other aquatic animals

(photo INBO)
(photo INBO)


The research supports river managers with knowledge about the fish safety of pumping stations and with evaluation methods to prioritize the remediation of pumping stations. Innovative technology is used in the form of sensors that measure pressure, force and speed-related parameters during their passage through pumping stations. These sensors were developed by engineers from Tallin University, led by Prof. Jeffrey Tuhtan from the center for biorobotics (Tallin University of Technology; Taltech). The sensor data is linked to biological observations in the form of mortality and injury figures in fish. These figures were collected during previous projects in experiments with wild and farmed fish. The results of these analyzes are used to draw up and adjust a European Fish Hazard Index for pumping stations. Such an index was recently developed by German researchers, in collaboration with INBO, for hydropower in Europe. This index will be adapted in this doctoral research for application to pumping stations using the biological observations (fish) and sensors. A large portion of data has already been collected by INBO in recent years, and this dataset will be further supplemented in this PhD.
Status Running
Actual start/end date 01/11/2023 - 31/12/2027


INBO Research theme(s)

  • Water


  • fish
  • migration
  • management
  • eel
  • management