Proposal to reduce existing water continuity interruption
on the middle section of the Danube
 
Ship locks – Fish locks
 
The project proposal innovatively makes a proposal to the application of the shipping locks as fish locks beside the conventional fish pass and the migration routes of the fishes by examining the hydro power plant navigation channel at the firth. The further purpose hereof is to establish new spawning places for fishes spawning and reproducing on the gravel bottom. In the interest of its realization the project integrates the ultimate technological and scientific results. The project is closely connecting to the EU Danube Region Strategy Pillar B, Priority Area 4, and its realization might be exemplary for reduce existing water continuity interruption of the power plants established at the Danube. Hereby with the cooperation of the two countries innovative results might be given practicable for shipping, power generating on the Danube and any other rivers.
 
The EU Danube Region Strategy basically determines the environmental state of the Danube river basin and supposes an extraordinary connection between the Member States and the Non-EU countries set in the river basin. Due to the spirit of the Strategy, considering the acquis communitaire, a balance might be established between developing and environment protection. The main issues of the Strategy can be aggregated around 4 pillars, which are equivalent and stand in a close relationship with one other. The restoration and sustain of the water quality belongs to the second pillar in the issue of the Danube Region’s environment protection. The countries of the Danube river basin have already finished the first river’s river basin management plan, identified the main challenges whose solution might result the achievement of the Danube’s good state. The interventions to the hydro-morphologic conditions of the river is one of the most essential elements from the identified problems applying to the state of the Danube thereby the continuity of the river’s habitats has been totally or partially disappeared, and the connection system between the flood plains and wetlands which plays an important role in life of the river has also ceased. These interventions jeopardize the existence of more fishes and some species have been brought to the edge of the extinction.
 
In the framework of the second pillar the maintenance of the rivers’ continuity plays an essential role among others in the subsistence of the Acipenseridae populations’ sustainable measures. There is among other proposed action plans the program “To reduce existing water continuity interruption for fish migration in the Danube river basin”, which supposes the full realization of “The Sturgeon Action Plan” and the investigation of the fish migration and behavior. The countries on the Danube river basin determine in their river management plans the establishment of fish passes facilitating the fish migration. In the aspect of the priorities for the livelihood of the long- and short term migrating fishes the most important dams are the dam and power plant systems established on the Iron Gate, Bős –Dunacsúny and at the firth of Isar. The EU Danube Region Strategy supposes that the Danube river management would be realized, which is also included by the declaration “ The river basin of the Danube: common waters, common reliability accepted by the Environment Ministers in the 16th of February 2010.
The action plans of the EU Danube Region Strategy contain the full implementation of the commonly accepted Sturgeon Action Plan including to prepare the feasibility study of the Iron gates as the primary obstacles of the migration, under leadership by Romania and Serbia. The dead line is 2012.
 
Re-establish the Danube river continuum is a key issue for achieving environmental objectives of EU Water Framework Directive. This problems was clearly formulated in the current Danube River Basin District Management Plan. The prioritized continuity of obstacles within the Danube River Basin using the Prioritisation Index (PI) within habitat of long –and medium distance migrants shows that one of the outmost priority area is in the middle Danube section. The ICPDR in the supporting paper of the Danube Strategy presented to the Ordinary Meeting in Vienna December 2010 in the actions set down the vital importance to fully implement the jointly agreed Sturgeon Action Plan and further research on fish migration routes and behavior. The application of the shipping locks as fish locks beside the conventional fish pass and the migration routes of the fishes by examining the hydro power plant navigation channel at the firth. The further purpose hereof is to establish new spawning places for fishes spawning and reproducing on the gravel bottom.
The project proposal fully fit to the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region Action Plan Chapter B) Protecting the Environment in the Danube Region To restore and maintain the quality of waters action 4 “To reduce existing continuity interruption for fish migration in the Danube river basin” and measures to restore river and habitat continuity in the Danube River Basin Management Plan. 
 
The major objective of the project is proposal for restoring river continuity of the Hungarian-Slovakian Danube section to find possibilities for fish migration routes using innovative solutions, based on field measurements, physical and numerical modeling. Reconstruction measures principles of spawning places. The project objectives are in line with the main EU trends i.e. EU Water Framework Directive, EU Strategy for Danube Region and Europe 2020.