The “Ecological Master Plan for the Rhine (Salmon 2000)” was elaborated within the framework of the “Rhine” Action Programme (RAP). It focuses on two points.

  1. Restoration of the main stream as the backbone of the ecosystem Migratory fish can only return to the Rhine when certain conditions are given. Improvement measures must be realized. For the support and realization of the project “Salmon 2000” two applications for subsidies were approved by the European Community. The first project concerns various habitat improvements, re-establishing, re-stocking and success control measures in several Rhine tributaries. The second project concerns the methods of improvements at barrages which are currently considerable obstacles to migration. At the barrages of Iffezheim and Gambsheim/Upper Rhine, new fish ladders must be built. The Master Plan will only prove successful if the re-establishing and restocking of habitats is being carried out simultaneously with measures aiming at reestablishing the surmountability of barrage weirs.

  2. Preservation, protection and improvement of ecologically important reaches. The plan demands an extension of the alluvial areas. Complete ecological interaction between these areas and the river must be allowed. A group is working on a specific ecological network with the most important alluvial areas along the Rhine. These areas shall serve as “stepping stones” for the whole Rhine ecosystem.

This plan may be considered as an exemplary conception of international waterways protection. Its significance includes amongst other things the applicability to other similar river systems.