We were delighted to work recently with BBC Earth on a documentary on Sea Lampreys Petromyzon marinus. The filming took place during early-June 2017 on the old River Shannon at Castleconnell, Co Limerick. This is part of the Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation, and Sea Lampreys are a key conservation interest of this Natura 2000 site.
Lamprey are infamous for their bloodsucking behavior but little else is know about the life cycle of these ancient creatures. Lizzie Daly heads to Ireland to track some down in the wild.
Along with the other two Irish lamprey species, Sea Lamprey is listed under Annex II of the European Union Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC); and included in Schedule Four of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations. It is also listed under Appendix III of the Bern Convention (1979). However, on rivers like the Shannon lampreys have been severely impacted on by dams and weirs, river regulation, illegal fishing, flood schemes and water quality decline. Migratory lampreys are now almost completely confined to below the Shannon dams, with their migration into tributaries of the old river also impeded by weirs.
For further information of lampreys please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also please make sure to share the video after watching it.