European smelt (Osmerus eperlanus) is a fish species that inhabits near shore coastal and estuarine waters and migrates up river to spawn. Historically, smelt were an abundant shoaling fish characteristic of many UK estuaries with strong cultural connections to coastal and estuarine communities. Archaeological evidence of smelt bones at Roman encampments has been found and there are also records of community festivals and events being held to coincide with the migration and spawning of the smelt in rivers. However, over the latter half of the 20th century the population declined dramatically and it is now listed under Section 41 of the 2006 Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act as a species of principal importance for the purpose of conserving biodiversity.
Natural England require a Contractor to produce a detailed smelt restoration management plan (to be completed by 24/01/2020), specifying the management required in a logical sequence, setting clear objectives in agreement with stakeholders, providing costs and timescales for the work, undertaking user and stakeholder engagement and providing a detailed monitoring plan to measure success.
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