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October 22, 2021

Sturgeons in danger because of reckless exploitation and fishing

Replenishing the sturgeon population in the Danube River depends essentially on what is happening on the river, because the species is endangered as a result of reckless exploitation and illegal fishing in a war of caviar, ambassador plenipotentiary and Romania’s national coordinator of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region Carmen Podgorean told a specialist conference on Wednesday.
‘The sturgeon programme is aimed not only at physical realities that are happening in several states, but also at various other fields of business and priority areas. The species existence and its repopulation depends essentially on what is happening in the river in terms of navigation, water quality, dams and the replenishing g of the sturgeon stock. Sturgeons are endangered because of reckless exploitation ad illegal fishing, in a war for caviar, a black gold,’ said Podgorean, quoted by Agerpres.
She added that the Danube provides the best development framework in the region.
‘We are in the very demanding position of telling the people what will happen with the Danube Strategy but the strategy will lack direct funding. The Danube provides the best framework in the development region. The problems that emerged on the river – floods, pollution – cannot be solved individually by each state. It takes unity to solve them,’ said Podgorean.
The Bucharest-based Institute of Biology of the Romanian Academy and the International Association for Danube Studies, jointly with the Action Group for Sturgeon Preservation held on Wednesday an event to mark June 29, the International Danube Day.
According to recently released World Wild Fund for Nature (WWF) data, Romania and Bulgaria are currently housing the largest natural population of sturgeon in the European Union.
France and Germany are Europe’s largest importers of caviar, while worldwide the US and Switzerland are dominating the market, with 81 per cent of the total of imports from the legal international trade gong there.
A fishing ban on sturgeon was declared in Romania in 2006 and in Bulgaria in 2011.
Findings in a WWF’s inquiry into illegal trade in caviar in Bulgaria and Romania indicate that 83 per cent of the Danube and Danube Delta fishermen believe sturgeon fishing is not a threat to the preservation of the species, although 67 per cent of them think the sturgeon population is dwindling. As many as 87 per cent of the interviewed fishermen would like the ban to end soon, while 96 per cent of them want to carry on the tradition of sturgeon fishing.

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