Shoal of fish

Hull International Fisheries Institute

Professor of Applied Fisheries Science & Director of Hull International Fisheries Institute (HIFI)
Professor Ian Cowx
Professor of Applied Fisheries Science & Director of Hull International Fisheries Institute (HIFI)

The Challenge

HIFI is a specialist unit at the University of Hull that undertakes a wide range of research, education, training and consultancy. Our research programme covers disciplines in the fields of natural resources, fisheries and the environment.

The Approach

Our approach focuses on empirical field studies, employing established and/or cutting-edge techniques, as well as desk-based meta-analyses, to answer pertinent questions in the fields of natural resources, fisheries and the environment.

Specialisms include fish ecology, fisheries and environmental management, aquatic conservation, ecological assessment, environmental impact assessment, river restoration, climate change, alien species, fish migration and fish telemetry.



  • Advance understanding of fish ecology, and population and community dynamics
  • Optimise fisheries and environmental management and restoration



Does the discharge of chemicals to the environment harm wildlife populations?

This study will investigate the effects of chemicals on wildlife populations. HIFI will attempt to disentangle the influence of chemicals (in wastewater and from agriculture) and other drivers on fish population success in the wild, and identify potential impacts on ecosystem functioning and services. The study will involve collaborations with esteemed scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Brunel University and the Zoological Society of London, and the outputs used to transform the risk assessment protocols used by the chemicals industry.


No fishing

Research and development of fish and eel entrainment mitigation at pumping stations

The REDEEM research cluster will focus on understanding fish and eel behaviour to assess the effectiveness of existing and new technologies for minimising entrainment at pumping stations and develop innovative measures to provide applied outcomes. Specifically, the research will focus on understanding the spatial distribution of fish and eels in pumped catchments, the processes that lead to entrainment and the effectiveness of altered operating regimes, fish-friendly pumps, and novel downstream bypass channels for minimising entrainment.

REDEEM - Environment Agency and Marine Management Organisation


Fish-friendly innovative technologies for hydropower

FIThydro addresses the decision support in commissioning and operating hydropower plants by use of existing and innovative technologies. It concentrates on mitigation measures and strategies to develop cost-efficient environmental solutions and on strategies to avoid individual fish damage and enhancing population developments.

FIThydro - European Commission

View all projects
  • Does the discharge of chemicals to the environment harm wildlife populations? NERC
  • Research and development of fish and eel entrainment mitigation at pumping stations (REDEEM). Environment Agency and Marine Management Organisation
  • Fish-friendly innovative technologies for hydropower (FIThydro). European Commission
  • Climate change and European aquatic resources (CERES). European Commission
  • River lamprey migration in the Yorkshire Ouse catchment, UK. Marine Management Organisation
  • Unlocking the River Severn: twaite shad and sea lamprey migration. Severn Rivers Trust and Environment Agency
  • DP World London Gateway port: monitoring of Salt Fleet Flats and Stanford Wharf Nature Reserve utilisation by fish. Dubai Ports World and Environment Agency
  • AMP6 fish passage monitoring. Yorkshire Water
  • AMP6 flow trials. Yorkshire Water
  • AMP6 Drought Plan fisheries and lamprey baseline monitoring programme. Yorkshire Water
  • Restoring rivers for effective catchment management (REFORM). European Commission
  • Defining environmental risk assessment criteria for genetically modified fishes to be placed on the EU market. European Food Safety Authority
  • Facilitating the application of output from research and case studies on ecological responses to hydro-morphological degradation and rehabilitation (FORECASTER). EU IWRM-net
  • Environmental impacts of alien species in aquaculture (IMPASSE). European Commission
  • Impact of alien species in Central Asia and the Caucasus: development of management guidelines. UN FAO
  • Engaging and informed tools for learning conceptual system knowledge (DynaLearn). European Commission
  • Improvement and spatial extension of the European fish index (EFI+). European Commission
  • New education and decision support model for active behaviour in sustainable development based on innovative web services and qualitative reasoning (NATURNET-REDIME). European Commission
  • Development, evaluation and implementation of a fish-based assessment method for the ecological status of European rivers (FAME). European Commission


At Hull, we’re rising to the challenge and helping to solve some of these problems – find out more about the impact of our research, how you can make a difference by studying with us or join us in our pledge to use less plastic.

Read more

Scuba Diver in Deep Blue Sea


Outputs and publications

2019 and in press

Baker, N., Haro, A., Watten, B., Noreika, J. & Bolland, J. D. (2019). Comparison of attraction, entrance and passage of downstream migrant American eels (Anguilla rostrata) through airlift and siphon deep entrance bypass systems. Ecological Engineering 126, 74-82.

Bolland, J. D., Murphy, L. A., Stanford, R. J., Angelopoulos, N. V., Baker, N. J., Wright, R. M., Reeds, J. D. & Cowx, I. G. (2019). Direct and indirect impacts of pumping station operation on downstream migration of critically endangered European eel. Fisheries Management and Ecology 26, 76-85.

Bolland, J. D., Nunn, A. D., Angelopoulos, N. V., Dodd, J. R., Davies, P., Gutmann Roberts, C., Britton, J. R. & Cowx, I. G. (2019). Refinement of acoustic-tagging protocol for twaite shad Alosa fallax (Lacépède), a species sensitive to handling and sedation. Fisheries Research 212, 183-187.

Browman, H. I., Cooke, S. J., Cowx, I. G., Derbyshire, S. W. G., Kasumyan, A., Key, B., Rose, J. D., Schwab, A., Skiftesvik, A. B., Stevens, E. D., Watson, C. A. & Arlinghaus, R. (2019). Welfare of aquatic animals: where things are, where they are going, and what it means for research, aquaculture, recreational angling, and commercial fishing. ICES Journal of Marine Science 76, 82-92.

Conallin, J. C., Baumgartner, L. J., Lunn, Z., Akester, M., Win, N., Tun, N. N., Nyunt, M. M. M., Swe, A. M., Chan, N. & Cowx, I. G. (2019). Migratory fishes in Myanmar rivers and wetlands: challenges for sustainable development between irrigation water control infrastructure and sustainable inland capture fisheries. Marine and Freshwater Research in press.

Nunn, A. D. (2019). Notable records of leaf-mining moths in East Yorkshire, 2017 and 2018. The Naturalist 144, 46–51.

Phang, S. C., Cooperman, M., Lynch, A. J., Steel, E. A., Elliott, V., Murchie, K. J., Cooke, S. J., Dowd, S. & Cowx, I. G. (2019). Fishing for conservation of freshwater tropical fishes in the Anthropocene. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems29, 1039-1051.

Sánchez-Hernández, J., Nunn, A. D., Adams, C. E. & Amundsen, P.-A. (2019). Causes and consequences of ontogenetic dietary shifts: a global synthesis using fish models. Biological Reviews 94, 539-554.

View complete publication list.

Research Students

​Miss Rachel Ainsworth

Fish and food security: global cost replacement of inland fisheries

Prof. Ian Cowx & Dr Jon Harvey

Mr Ibrahim Alharthi

The fish and fisheries of Saudi Arabia

Prof. Ian Cowx & Dr Jon Harvey

Mr Liam Carter

Attractiveness and effectiveness of safe downstream passage routes at pumping stations

Dr Jon Bolland & Prof. Dan Parsons

Mr George Cowan

Ecology of the European eel in the Azores

Dr Jon Bolland, Dr Ros Wright, Dr Jose Azevedo & Dr Andy Nunn

Mr Nathan Griffiths

Distribution of eels and coarse fish in pumped catchments: an eDNA approach

Dr Bernd Hänfling, Dr Jon Bolland & Dr Andy Nunn

Mr Tom Hutchinson

Effectiveness of fish-friendly pumping stations

Dr Jon Bolland & Dr Andy Nunn

Mr Amulike Msukwa

Study of impacts of ornamental fish trade on the targeted ichthyofauna of Lake Malawi

Prof. Ian Cowx, Dr Domino Joyce & Dr Jon Harvey

Miss Leona Murphy

Impacts of pumping stations on migrating silver eels

Dr Jon Bolland & Prof. Ian Cowx

Mr Josh Norman

Coarse fish entrainment

Dr Jon Bolland & Dr Andy Nunn

Mr Paul Phillips

Disentangling the impacts of drought and water-resource management on riverine fishes

Dr Andy Nunn & Dr Jon Harvey

Mr Steve Storey

Impacts of flow regulation and abstraction on fishery status

Dr Jon Harvey & Dr Richard Noble


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