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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments. (Public)
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TOPIC: weed webinar 31 January

weed webinar 31 January 22 May 2022 10:26 #129841

  • Pete Clark
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I can just see you and Jim squirting vast dollops of tomato ketchup overboard into the Old Lock in your laudable efforts to help contain the invasive weed problem! We await agog the scientific evaluation.
😉
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weed webinar 31 January 22 May 2022 09:29 #129837

  • Paul Hayes
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Jim Latimer wrote: I can confirm what Paul has reported, we watched the fish (small) what appeared to be a feeding frenzy on plants next to our boat. We are in the same mooring area, it was certainly interesting.


Another thought from this Non Biologist, could the weed eating be a result of the high intensity frog mating that is happening at the moment.

Does frog mating "juice" act on weed, like salt and vinegar does on Fish and Chips, enhance the flavour.
🤔
Could be a subject for a PhD.😁, Artificially make the weed tasty to indigenous fish species.

Paul

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weed webinar 31 January 22 May 2022 09:16 #129836

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I can confirm what Paul has reported, we watched the fish (small) what appeared to be a feeding frenzy on plants next to our boat. We are in the same mooring area, it was certainly interesting.

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weed webinar 31 January 22 May 2022 08:07 #129835

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Hi Pete

Wikipedia tells me that Pennywort

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pennywort

Is different to "our" problem weed.

fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myriophyllum_heterophyllum

Which a couple of days ago I watched fish eating . I had not seen this before. Especially as in Lockdown, I spent quite a few hours watching the same species in the water that became very clear, I could see the bottom at 2.6m, with a fair amount of weed growth.

I'm no maggot drowning angler in any form, but again. Wikipedia comes to the rescue and tells me that the fish in question are Chub.🤷‍♂️. Very recognisable with the distinctive shape and fin colouration.

en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squalius_cephalus

Unfortunately I didn't have my phone to take a photo. I'll try to get one.

Now, possibly lots of fish eat weed salad as part of their diet, I don't know.

Given the number of such fish in The. Old Lock, and looking at the rate of weed growth, an unscientific guess is that they don't eat enough weed to stop it's advance.

However, this observation may be of use to someone. Or it might be a case of "why be surprised, what else do you think they eat".

Paul Hayes
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weed webinar 31 January 19 May 2022 17:23 #129759

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John Frazer wrote: www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/may/17/south-american-weevils-released-uk-waterways-tackle-invasive-weed-floating-pennywort


John, I passed on your link to VNF NE and in the meantime I have received confirmation that they have in turn passed it on to one of VNF's designated experts on the subject, Cécile Pestelard from VNF DT Nord / Pas de Calais

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weed webinar 31 January 04 Feb 2022 12:17 #127932

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Bob Marsland wrote: You mention, in your penultimate paragraph, that VNF cannot do it alone and should be commended for bringing together the wide spectrum of participants. I would just mention that I believe my invitation came from a higher place; the French Office for Biodiversity who, in collaboration with VNF organised the event, the Secretary of State for Biodiversity, Bérangère Abba, having given the opening speech. This speaks to me of the urgency that France at the highest level seeks to deal with this matter.


I agrer with you Bob, it was indeed very encouraging to see the active participation of the Office for Biodiversity. represented at the meeting by its Director General, Loic Obled. He is clearly one of those very high fliers produced by the admirable French Grandes Ecoles system (Oxbridge without the old Etonian braggadocio) - frighteningly intelligent and articulate and yet in his case coming over as likeably urbane - let's hope that he/his teams can, together with VNF, help get things moving.

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weed webinar 31 January 04 Feb 2022 11:55 #127931

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You raise a very good point, Paul.

One of the various methods described during the Webinar, that is already in use and the subject of further research is "colourisation" i.e. the intruduction of harmless dies in order to achieve exactly the effect you describe.

So yes, keep on drinkink and passing on the benefits! 😉

Pete

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weed webinar 31 January 04 Feb 2022 10:08 #127930

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On a lighter note.

Could drinking this, then passing it into the canal help with shading, to reduce the effects of sunlight?😁
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weed webinar 31 January 03 Feb 2022 18:41 #127918

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Pete,
I was particularly pleased when I learned you and Richard were going to join me in representing DBA at this major and important meeting. Particularly pleased as I knew you both would get more than my derisory 5% of understanding French.

I also expected you, Pete, to hit the keyboard running and give us a dissertation worth reading. Thank you for this crystallisation of the raison d'être of this mammoth undertaking.

You mention, in your penultimate paragraph, that VNF cannot do it alone and should be commended for bringing together the wide spectrum of participants. I would just mention that I believe my invitation came from a higher place; the French Office for Biodiversity who, in collaboration with VNF organised the event, the Secretary of State for Biodiversity, Bérangère Abba, having given the opening speech. This speaks to me of the urgency that France at the highest level seeks to deal with this matter.

Bob

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weed webinar 31 January 03 Feb 2022 16:24 #127912

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Perhaps I can add my two ha'porth to what has already been reported and in doing so wax philosophical on the underlying subject, which is vast in its implications. So not so much a report as an attempt to synthesize the feeling of the meeting and, tentatively, where to go from here. Firstly, however, on behalf of us all, thanks to Bob and Richard for assembling and posting some of the presentations and conclusions from this very interesting and, as has been noted, very well run seminar.

To pinpoint the subject of what Bob has whimsically called a "Weed Webinar", the topic was "Exotic Invasive Plants - The Need to control their Proliferation on the Waterways." aka "EEE" - "Espèces Exotiques Envahissantes."
1. Exotic is meant not in the sense of "Oh, wow!" but is used to denote a 'non-native' plant or species.
2. Invasive means, as the US National Ocean Service puts it "Invasive species ... capable of causing extinctions of native plants and animals, reducing biodiversity, competing with native organisms for limited resources, and altering habitats."

And therein lies the rub: these various non-indigenous plant forms are proliferating like wildfire and are literally taking over and destroying the habitat of many other life forms in the waterways of France and beyond - and, tangentially, making life for boaters, whether owners or hirers (and hire companies) a misery, in slowing our progress, binding our props, clogging our filters and sometimes causing even worse damage as a result.

It was indeed difficult to follow with one's schoolboy French but the main impression I took away was the sheer scale of the problem, in both physical and also, therefore, not least economic terms. This was not a meeting that presented, neatly packaged, a series of pick-'n-mix solutions, nor could it. Rather, it was a very brave attempt to bring together the myriad 'acteurs' (I guess we'd say 'players') in the field with a view to finally making a concerted attempt to identify, research, analyse and rationalise what is a multi-facetted problem for which no-one, worldwide, yet has a viable, one size fits all solution.

And, as was strongly emphasized by all speakers from various fields of expertise, almost unisono, only then, only following upon such research and analysis, will it - might it - be possible to even start developing sustainable solutions, of which there will not be one but - hopefully - several, depending on the nature of the various exotic invasive plants concerned; on the locality, environment and specific conditions in which these have adapted and proliferated; and, last but not least, on the extent of the resources - again, physical and economic - then to be put at the disposal of VNF as the body responsible for managing the waterways in the broadest sense, and of their partners and counterparts in related fields, of which there are also many. Not forgetting local politics ... give me a pot of money and I'll find you a mayor happy to dip in a paw.

Much as we DBA members might like to think otherwise, VNF's role is not just to keep boats moving happily from A to B and possibly back. VNF and the many other players involved all have many, sometimes conflicting interests to promote and roles to play. In context, and to put it in banal fashion: exterminate or alter one plant and you may well destroy or adversely affect another, or you take away a fish's or a bird's or an animal's - or a human being's - means of sustenance or existence. Environmentalism is not, surprising as it may seem, a one way street.

Back to the seminar: it was sobering to see and hear how far we still have to go. A pre-eminent theme emphasized by all participants was that we are only at the beginning, and above all the need for all players to come together and to work together to begin to find solutions. It might seem surprising but it appears - and was repeatedly stated - that many of the players, from whatever background, feel left on their own with the problem, with no-one to turn to but their own inadequate local information and resources. For this reason alone VNF is to be commended in bringing together a wide spectrum of interested parties to start tackling the problem. VNF cannot do it alone, any more than can any of the others impacted. But they have made a start. And have promised to follow up.

Covid 19 and its effects will hopefully revert to manageable proportions in the coming months. The "weed" problem will be with us for years.

Pete Clark
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weed webinar 31 January 01 Feb 2022 23:22 #127888

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This was a long long meeting starting at 0900 UK time and not ending until 1730. I was very impressed with the organisation and particularly with the host/anchor whose name I do not have as I was a couple of minutes late due to having to register etc…. I was deeply impressed with the cast list which included just about every high ranking official with any connection with waterways, agriculture, biodiversity.

And it started with a filmed introduction by Mme Bérangère Abba, Secretary of State for Biodiversity.
That introduction (in French, of course) may be viewed along with other videos worth looking at by clicking the following link:

www.vnf.fr/vnf/dossiers-actualitess/assises-nationales-plantes-exotiques-envahissantes-lurgence-de-maitriser-leur-proliferation-sur-les-voies-deau-webinaire/

Here is a very abbreviated précis as my French, particularly in virtual meetings gets about 5% of what is being said:

Thierry Guimbaud, DG of VNF was introduced first sitting in the studio with our host. He explained the extent of the invasive plants with particular accent on the NE Territory saying the 30km of affected waterway in 2017/18 had increased to 300km in three years. He went on to propose ways forward including prevention and faucardage (mowing).

Loic Obled, DG of the Office de Biodiversité, was next up, sitting on the right hand of the three tall stools with lecturns just like televised interviews of political party leaders at election time. He spoke of exactly what I was hoping to hear, since we in DBA had made the suggestion a couple of years ago. It seems Carpe have been introduced into the river Somme as an experiment with the agreement of the angling lobby. This experiment didn’t gain much traction during the rest of the webinar… regrettably.

Lionel Rouillon, Direction de Development, VNF was brought in on Zoom and told of the extent throughout Europe of this problem. It’s like omicron and spreads wildly. My words not his!

Mme. Lorinne Dufaud, Assistant Director of Nicols hire company gave an impassioned presentation of her concern on the Canal de Bourgogne saying it gets worse with inactivity (Covid-19!!!)

Hubert de Jenlis, Vice President Conseil Department de la Somme said there was a 60km length of the Somme infested in 2014. He went on to say they have used common carpe and carpe autochtone, whatever that means. No particular mention of Grass Carpe.

There were clearly a large number of people watching this webinar and many contributed by’chat’ messaging and our host would pick up the occasional question and pose it for the writer. One recurring topic that came over in this way was the assertion that a loaded freycinet scouring the bottom is worth its weight in gold.

There followed a video of different experimental solutions.
Faucardage (mowing)
Placing barriers across the canal, usually upstream of a lock. This system I have seen employed in connection with faucardage so the floating weed can be collected.
Checking the type of weed collected and recording.

Mme Cécille Pestelard, Technical Department re Invasive Plants, VNF put forward five ways to go:
1. Identify each type of invasive plant
2. Experiment and innovate
3. Early detection
4. Validate
5. I didn’t catch this one

Hervé Gaborian, Direction Pôle France Water DREAM

Samuel Faucon from Brétagne gave an impassioned talk about the spread in his territory and pleaded for more funds as they didn’t have sufficient to deal with it.

Lunchtime came not before time but it was not to be enjoyed quietly as there were seven workshops to attend. I did click into each one while eating and was impressed with the technical ease of going from one to the other. As has been said before these tended to be presentations, with questions invited, from companies offering their expertise in one way or another of dealing with the weed. The most interesting might be thought to be the one that converts the weed into biogas.

My screen told us all to rejoin the main live show at 1355 (French time). Unfortunately, for me, at least!, it didn’t tell me to refresh the page on my browser so I lost the best part of an hour. Sorry.

When I did get back in :
Mme. Marie-Line Duparc, Maire de Saint Jean de Losne spoke of how they are working collaboratively with all actors and how pleased she was with relationships. I didn’t get to understand how effective that collaboration has been, though.

Olivier Debaere Minitère d’Ecology spoke.

As did:

Mme Laetitia Hugot, Directrice de conservation biologique de Corse who spoke of the measures she was overseeing to safeguard her small but beautifully formed island.

There is lots more to see and read on vnf.fr and if you use the Chrome browser it will translate the French into English automatically, as it will if you use that with the link above.

Bob
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weed webinar 31 January 01 Feb 2022 20:15 #127885

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Richard Hyman wrote: There is a brief report today in 'maire-info'. See
www.maire-info.com/biodiversite/plantes-exotiques-invasives-les-voies-d'eau-particulierement-touchees-en-france-article-26064


Again thanks to Richard and here is a machine translation: (For navigable roads read navigable waterways)

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weed webinar 31 January 01 Feb 2022 19:22 #127884

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Richard Hyman wrote: Bob Marsland and Pete Clark attended this event today; I was there part of the time. The format involved two plenary sessions and seven workshops. I attach the slides. One interesting theme was the conversion of the harvested weed into biogas. It is not clear whether there will be an official report or Minutes.


Thank you Richard. Here are translations of those slides:

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I have placed the original French versions alongside the English so comparisons can be made when the translator goes haywire.

Bob

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weed webinar 31 January 01 Feb 2022 16:31 #127875

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weed webinar 31 January 31 Jan 2022 23:05 #127859

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Thanks, that fits the tone of most of the VNF presentations today. As one participant commented, given the scale of the problem the resources they are able to commit are a drop in the ocean.

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weed webinar 31 January 31 Jan 2022 22:10 #127857

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VNF have posted this on Linkedin (autotranslated)....

Recognized as one of the main causes of biodiversity erosion, invasive alien species threaten our ecosystems. French navigable networks, like others in Europe, have had to deal for several years with the proliferation of aquatic plants: Myriophylls, Elodées, or Jussies, which unbalance ecosystems, damage infrastructure and severely hinder the navigation of boats.

On the ground, VNF teams are fully mobilized and committed to the fight against proliferation. Many techniques and experiments are implemented in the field, in the territories.

Voies navigables de France as a player in water and biodiversity wanted to bring together partners and professionals, also impacted, for a day of exchanges and debates organized in partnership with the Office français de la biodiversité. Actors of tourism, biodiversity and communities responded massively present at the 1st national conference on invasive alien plants. To find all the online resources: lnkd.in/dYp-WxMH
#LEauNousPorte
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weed webinar 31 January 31 Jan 2022 19:54 #127853

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Bob Marsland and Pete Clark attended this event today; I was there part of the time. The format involved two plenary sessions and seven workshops. I attach the slides. One interesting theme was the conversion of the harvested weed into biogas. It is not clear whether there will be an official report or Minutes.

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weed webinar 31 January 22 Jan 2022 14:18 #127666

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Good point, Peter, let's hope we discover an answer from the powers that be!

Bob

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weed webinar 31 January 22 Jan 2022 10:59 #127662

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I have wondered if the harvested weed has any intrinsic value.
An example is the Dutch dredge their rivers and canals and use the sand and gravel for construction, or dredge the North Sea fo4 sand to bolster the North Sea sand dunes.
So, for instance, can the harvested weed be used as a component of the domestic green waste collected to make retail compost and potting mix?

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weed webinar 31 January 22 Jan 2022 01:58 #127660

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Ian McCauley wrote: Very interested in their reasons for not at least trialling the biological control methods.
Ian

Lisette & Ian
Catharina Elisabeth


Me too, Ian. Particularly the specialist carp we suggested,

Bob

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weed webinar 31 January 21 Jan 2022 20:08 #127655

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Very interested in their reasons for not at least trialling the biological control methods.
Ian

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weed webinar 31 January 21 Jan 2022 19:42 #127654

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Information of this webinar was previously promulgated by DT Strasbourg and Pete Clark and I have registered to 'attend'.

Bob
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weed webinar 31 January 19 Jan 2022 19:58 #127629

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The VNF is co-hosting a webinar on exotic aquatic plants. Registration is at:
www.vnf.fr/vnf/assises-nationales-plantes-exotiques-envahissantes-31-janvier-2022-inscription-au-webinaire/
Details below:

ASSISES NATIONALES “PLANTES EXOTIQUES ENVAHISSANTES” : L’URGENCE DE MAITRISER LEUR PROLIFÉRATION SUR LES VOIES D’EAU – WEBINAIRE

DÉTAILS
Voies navigables de France et l’Office français de la biodiversité souhaitent mobiliser l’ensemble des acteurs concernés par la problématique des plantes exotiques envahissantes dans les voies d’eau et donnent rendez-vous le 31 janvier pour un webinaire en ligne, en présence de Bérangère Abba, Secrétaire d’État chargée de la Biodiversité.

Les institutions, gestionnaires d’infrastructures, usagers et scientifiques ouvriront le débat en présentant l’état des lieux et les enjeux économiques, écologiques et sociétaux engendrés par les plantes exotiques envahissantes. La suite des échanges permettra d’identifier les besoins des gestionnaires, les solutions innovantes, mais aussi les freins et faire émerger des propositions d’organisation ou de développement de filières.

Plusieurs entreprises auront l’occasion de proposer, à l’occasion du webinaire, de nouvelles techniques pour maitriser la prolifération des plantes exotiques envahissantes.



Lien d’inscription : www.vnf.fr/vnf/assises-nationales-plantes-exotiques-envahissantes-31-janvier-2022-inscription-au-webinaire/

Il est nécessaire de s’inscrire pour recevoir le lien de connexion pour l’événement.



Programme de la journée :

10h00 : Introduction

10h30-12h30 / 14h-15h : Gestion des plantes exotiques envahissantes : recherche, expérimentation et innovation pour des solutions de long terme

15h00 : Fédérer nos forces pour endiguer le phénomène

16h15 : Conclusion

MOINS

HORAIRES
(Lundi) 10 h 00 min - 4 h 15 min
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