With strict laws, Russia is trying to save the last wild sturgeons in the Volga River and the Caspian Sea. But research conducted by “Planet e” and WWF shows that illegal trade continues: Too much money can be earned with the valuable fish eggs.
Measures must be taken to improve the fish production and processing chain in Romania. This is one of the conclusions of the third sturgeon round table meeting held in Romania on 13 May at the Ciocănești Fish Farm near Bucharest. The meeting was part of the project “Sturgeons. Protect Danube’s Treasure”.
WWF will discuss with leading seafood sellers and buyers the importance of compulsory CITES labelling for caviar, fishing vessel and seafood tracking, and the state of endangered species like sturgeons. This will happen at the world’s largest seafood trade event, the Seafood Expo Global, which is in Brussels on 21-23 April 2015.
Nowadays, the Iron Gates dam might stop Danube sturgeons from going upstream all the way to Germany, but their story knows no borders. This is how sturgeons reached London. They were in the spotlight at an event this month organized by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) chaired by Brian Zimmerman, curator at the ZSL Aquarium. The event focused on flagship species on the brink of extinction.
No sturgeon can stay invisible for long if 1,000 people with torches and mobile lights walk its contours. This is what people did in Sofia, Bulgaria, during Earth Hour this year. You can see the amazing results in the light painting above – it is the largest single symbolic coming together of sturgeon fans in the country to protect the overfished species so far.
The workdays of Veso, our Bulgarian voice for Danube sturgeons, are also anything but your usual 9 to 5 — like George’s in Romania. By now, he is used to visiting fishermen on the Danube after dark, in vans that often have no electricity, and talking to them until midnight — over fish and drinks, of course.
November was a big month for Danube sturgeons. Some 11,000 baby Sterlets (Acipenser ruthenus) were released in the river at the site of Persina Nature Park in Bulgaria. The event was part of a 50-000 strong sturgeon restocking plan financed by Operational Programme Environment 2007-2013. It is part of the sturgeon programme of WWF.
It’s 6:20 am, much too early for a regular office day, but just the right time to be on a train to Fetești, where we are going to spend a day among fishermen, on one of the banks of the Danube, to talk about sturgeons. But this isn’t a story about fishermen, but about the sturgeon advocate who talks on a weekly basis with them. Meet George, WWF-Romania’s Freshwater Project Officer, the best friend sturgeons ever had. Although he is a cat lover.