WGDIAD (formerly WGRECORDS) provides a forum for the coordination on diadromous species: those like trout, salmon, and eel that use both freshwater and marine environments to complete their life cycles. The group considers progress and requirements in the field, coordinates with expert groups, organizes symposia and theme sessions, and helps to deliver the ICES Science Plan.
Diadromous species face a number of problems. Destruction of freshwater and coastal habitats has decreased survival and productivity, while migration obstacles, water removal, and other activities are reducing freshwater habitat. Several species are also highly valued commercially, and keeping fishing at a sustainable level is a major challenge. The species are one of the few concrete linkages between freshwater and marine ecosystems, serving as indicators of the status of both. A persistent decline in marine survival in several of these species has resulted in the need for international collaboration and advice.
Research ranges from developing assessment methods to addressing questions related to the well-being of the species. This includes taking account of conflicts between human uses such as energy production and preserving and restoring habitats.
ICES plays a central role in promoting international coordination in this regard. Similarly, many species are protected under international laws or conventions, and more information is being sought on the status of these species and threats to survival and sustainability.