Eels are migratory fish that survive in both fresh and salt water. Their reproductive cycle is complex and mysterious: the female travels thousands of kilometres to the Sargasso Sea, a unique area of the world, where she finds a suitable place to lay her eggs and then, exhausted by the journey, dies in the same waters.
Because of its highly specialised reproductive cycle the eel cannot be bred for restocking and is registered as a "critically endangered" species – the final step before extinction.
Inspired by World Environment Day – organised by the UN and hosted in 2015 by Italy – the country's first eel "fish ladder" was opened running through the fantastic scenery that frames Enel's Casteldoria dam, in the province of Sassari. This, it is hoped, will guarantee the repopulation of the river Coghinas.
Primary-school children inaugurated the system by releasing 50 elvers into one of the small tanks that make up the ingenious fish ladder that allows the eels to travel up river – even where dams have been built – to complete their lifecycle.
The actions of mankind have often had an adverse effect on environment and biodiversity, yet it is also within the power of we humans to defend our surroundings. This is why we are taking an active part in this project, dedicated to an endangered species.
A dam is not only important in terms of energy generation; it can also play a part in nature conservation.
We have contributed our expertise in dam and reservoir management to ensure the success of the system as we believe it to be our duty to help make the world a better place. Our culture and values are shared with local communities in order to create shared value.