Society to Save the Sturgeon was founded on July 1st 1994 at the Senckenberg
Institute in Frankfurt/Main - Germany.
The societies fundamental goal is the preservation of the Common sturgeon (Acipenser sturio), a species now verging on extinction.
The Common sturgeon is the only sturgeon species with a distribution spanning all over Europe. Historically endemic to all major river systems in Europe as well as the adjacent coastal regions, overfishing, hydro-construction, gravel extraction and pollution has brought the Common sturgeon dangerously close to extinction. Only in the Rioni River and Gironde Estuary have small stocks persisted.
The society aims for the conservation of remaining Acipenser sturio. Theese fish represent the dwindling available genetic sources of the Common sturgeon world-wide. This genetic material represents the fine tuning of nature created by millions of years of evolution. Genetic variation through species diversity is on indicator of the overall health of an ecosystem. The loss of a species such as the Common sturgeon would not only have an impact on the other species within the ecosystem with which Acipenser sturio is interdependant but would also signify the end of a fish-human connection which dates back to the early Sythian settlements along the Black Sea coast. European culinary history and fish consumption tends have been greatly influenced by this fascinating sturgeon species.
The resources available in bringing back the Common sturgeon are limited. Many of the watersheds that this species was endemic to have been fundamentaly altered. Dams, river dredging, pollution and foreign species invaders have all contributed to European waters being a far cry from the once prestine environment that Acipenser sturio thrived in. By catching the few remaining individuals of this species, it will be possible to establish a brood stock which would serve as the foundation to future stocks. At first, artificial propagation will be essential but eventually, it is hoped that populations of Acipenser sturio will once again become self-sustaining. To monitor progress of the stocking program as well as to learn more about this species, tagging will be done on the released fish in preselected riversections. It is crutial that we ensure suitable spawning habitats for this species if this stocking program is to have any long term impact.
The preliminary plan for the activities is divided in three phases:
In order to secure the planned activity, donations of any kind are readily welcome either as social sponsoring or as support in any field. We are well aware that the society has given itself a difficult task, but if you are interested in the membership of the society or would like to help us helping the sturgeon, please contact:
Society to Save the Sturgeon e.V.
An der Jaegerbaek 2, D-18069 Rostock/Germany
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