Pilot project at ‘Dunarea de Jos’ Univerity in Galati: Baby sturgeons released in the Lower Danube

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The ‘Dunarea de Jos’ University in Galati is the beneficiary of a Fisheries Operational Program project dubbed “The assessment of the survival and spread in the Black Sea of baby sturgeons from critically endangered species released in the Lower Danube (2013-2015)”.

Starting on June 2, as part of the second stage of the project that has European importance, the ‘Dunarea de Jos’ University released 95,000 baby sturgeons belonging to the critically endangered Danube sturgeon specie.

The first stage of the pilot project that started in 2013 showcased the release into the Danube of 90,000 baby sturgeons belonging to three critically-endangered species (70,000 European sturgeons, 10,000 Starry sturgeons and 10,000 Danube sturgeons). The sturgeons were tagged with CWT microchips for efficient monitoring.

In 2014, ‘Dunarea de Jos’ University experts conducted two assessments of the survival and spread in the Black Sea of the previously released baby sturgeons. Specialists from other riparian countries (Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Serbia) are also involved in the project. The preliminary results are of remarkable scientific importance because the baby sturgeons released in the Danube were identified in Romanian, Ukrainian and Turkish territorial waters.

The third and final stage of the project, an assessment stage, will take place in July 2015. Romania is the only country where sturgeons can still be found in their natural habitats. Using the data obtained in this pilot project, the ‘Dunarea de Jos’ University will draft a proposal on saving the species by repopulating EU rivers with baby sturgeons.