European Fish Index (EFI+)

Member of the

Freshwater Information Platform

How to use the European Fish Index (EFI+)

Florian Pletterbauer, Stefan Schmutz (University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna) and Teresa Connolly (University of Oxford)

What is this tool

The European Fish Index (EFI+) tool enables you to evaluate the ecological status of riverine freshwater sites across Europe. It produces an index value for your site. It is a web based tool available on the EFI+ website. You must input your own data to enable the EFI+ to be calculated for a river site.

Why use it

The EFI+ tool uses a fish-based biological assessment method that meets the needs of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). It is built on a huge database (more than 14,000 sampling sites) that brings data on fish sampling, environmental conditions and human pressures together. The EFI+ indicates the ecological status of the investigated river in respect of its "biological quality element" fish in five classes from high (1) to bad (5). The index, therefore, is able to highlight the need for restoration measures to achieve a good ecological status in respect of the Water Framework Directive (WFD).

Using this tool

There are three vital steps to consider before using the EFI+ tool:

Watch a short introductory video how to use the EFI+ tool:

(05:19 mins 60mb)


Problem solving

Access the EFI+ manual, a sample spreadsheet and/or read the EFI+ Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) (PDF, 2 pages, 77Kb).

Contribute your findings to the BioFresh platform

We invite you to contribute your data and/or results to the BioFresh platform. You can also see examples of existing EFI+ outputs in the online Global Freshwater Biodiversity Atlas: Characterisation of Fish Sampling Sites in Europe using the European Fish Index (EFI+).


EFI+ Consortium (2009). Manual for the application of the new European Fish Index – EFI+, Improvement and spatial extension of the European Fish Index [online], (PDF, 45 pages, 2.1mb)

Pont D, Hugueny B, Rogers C (2007). Development of a fish-based index for the assessment of river health in Europe: The European fish index. Fisheries Management and Ecology 14: 427–439.

Schmutz S., Cowx I.G., Haidvogl G. & Pont D. (2007). Fish-based methods for assessing European running waters: a synthesis. Fisheries Management and Ecology 14: 369–380.