Development of a national classification method for the ecological status of rivers in Greece using the Biological Quality Element “Fish”.
The aim of this report is to test if the Hellenic Fish Index (HeFI) is compliant with the completed MED-GIG intercalibration exercise and if that the instructions of the CIS Guidance Document no 30 (EU 2015) have been followed. In particular, we examined whether all relevant parameters indicative of the BQE "fish" are covered, class boundaries are set in line with the WFD’s normative definitions, the method is applicable for nearly all major river systems in mainland Greece, including the IC types R-M1, R-M2, R-M4 and R-M5, and that HeFI performs well in discriminating human pressures. The Hellenic Republic is now using a state-wide assessment method for the BQE fish in rivers, the Hellenic Fish Index, HeFI (Tachos et al. 2016; Zogaris et al. in prep.). In Greece, since 2002, six fish-based assessment methods have been developed by scientists involved in fish-based bioassessment research and working within relevant EU projects (e.g. FAME, STAR).The Hellenic Fish Index (HeFI) was developed and tested during the last two years, within an international cooperation project involving Greek and Austrian scientists; a complete description of this new index is given in the Annex section, accompanying this report.