LIFE FOR DANUBE STURGEONS (2016-2020)
The recently finalized “LIFE FOR DANUBE STURGEONS” project focused on saving sturgeons in the Lower Danube and western Black Sea region. The reasons for their decline are complex, but lack of awareness and information is a root cause of the most destructive factor: overfishing. Despite strict legal protection, and as shown in a market survey, illegal fishing and trade in meat and caviar from wild sturgeons still endanger the last survivors of 4 sturgeon species: beluga (Huso huso), Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), stellate sturgeon (A. stellatus) and sterlet (A. ruthenus).
Led by WWF Austria, 7 organisations from 6 countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Ukraine, Germany, Austria) teamed up for more than 4 years to improve sturgeon protection. The work to raise ownership of fishermen and develop alternative businesses to offset the income from sturgeon fishing, to collaborate with law enforcement authorities or campaign for better laws and enforcement procedures, and to investigate markets and forensically analyse samples is summarized in a Layman´s report.
Project activities are explained in more detail in the Approaches to sturgeon conservation – Case studies and lessons learned for halting overfishing and illegal trade and in factsheets summarizing 5 case studies:
- ‘Sturgeon Watchers’: Volunteer patrols to protect sturgeons in Ukraine
- ‘Sterlet belongs in the river, not on your plate’: A media and advocacy campaign to achieve a catch ban for Sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus) in Serbia
- Involving fishermen in sturgeon monitoring in Bulgaria
- Trafficking of Critically Endangered sturgeon – evidence from the Lower Danube Region
- Developing alternative businesses in fishing communities to decrease pressure on wild sturgeon
Information material was produced to support enforcement efforts:
- A simpleSturgeon Identification Guide for the Lower Danube and videos on the identification of wild Danube sturgeon species and on the identification of exotic sturgeon species and hybrid
- Abrochure how to handle and release (large) sturgeons safely
- Abrochure on CITES caviar labelling and an explanatory video
- Abrochure on the legal framework for sturgeon protection
All materials – and more – can be found on danube-sturgeons.org
For further information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org