The meeting is based on a comparison of three main Species of traditional importance across Europe: the white-clawed crayfish Austropotamobius pallipes distributed along a North-South line (Ireland, England, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy), now threatened and listed in Annex II and V of the European Directive (92/43/CEE) on "the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora"; the noble crayfish Astacus astacus distributed in Northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Hungary, Estonia, and Finland), now very retricted across its range; the mountain stream crayfish Austropotamobius torrentium restricted to circumalpine areas. The aim is to bring together both researchers and managers to evaluate new findings, identify remaining tasks and implement sound management policies and recommendations for conservation of the European native species. "Managers" are crayfish farmers, fishermen or scientists monitoring and licensing fisheries, or those responsible for environmental quality or conservation at local, regional or national level.
The final aim is to synthesize and to bring together recommendations for optimal strategies at a European scale and to identify necessary lines of research. The originality of the meeting is to focuses on discussions during round tables such as monitoring the distribution of European crayfish populations; Application of Directive 92/43/EEC "Habitats" for the conservation of crayfish; How to harmonise water quality legislation for the benefit of crayfish? How best to manage the conservation of the native crayfish species in the particular range of environmental situations across its distributional extent in Europe? The three days will contain four sessions of oral presentations and the round table discussions. There will also be poster sessions covering all the topics. The sessions are: Present Knowledge of native crayfish populations (life history, population dynamics, genetics) and of their preferred habitat; Threats from physical alteration or the habitat and ecotoxicological threats; Biological threats including interactions between native crayfish and exotic species; management strategies for native crayfish: habitat restoration programmes; repopulation, reinforcement of existing populations.