By focusing on three key European species; the Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), the European eel (Anguilla anguilla) and sturgeons (Family Acipenseridae), IMPRESS aims to increase survival and improve behavioural adaptation to natural conditions. The chosen species should be regarded as models for improved conservation and management of freshwater species in general, for the following reasons:
They have a wide geographical distribution, and are diadromous. Both the Atlantic salmon and all sturgeons spawn in freshwater and are particularly sensitive to pollution and habitat destruction, as well as other anthropogenic impacts. Due to their life history, they are key indicator species of habitat quality and integrity, both of freshwater ecosystems and coastal waters.