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A new report on sturgeon poaching in Lower Danube by WWF

WWF launched a new report on sturgeon poaching in the Lower Danube region. 337 cases of wildlife crime compiled between 2016 to 2022 by responsible enforcement authorities include 130 cases from Bulgaria, 125 from Romania, and 82 from Ukraine. A minimum of 955 sturgeon specimens were seized in total – an impressive figure but only the tip of a much larger undetected iceberg. Enforcement authorities often struggle with resources, thus WWF provides equipment to and applies new technology together with the authorities, such as camera traps, drone surveillance or underwater sonar, which supported the detection of 131 illegal sturgeon hook lines in Bulgaria in 2022 alone.
The report is the only of its kind collecting data from various authorities across three countries that share highly endangered sturgeon populations.
This report is a call for action – a reminder of the urgent need for countries and organisations to scale up efforts to halt sturgeon crime along the Danube. WWF has been working with governments, partners and communities to tackle poaching and illegal trade, but clearly much more needs to be done.

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