Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Day marked by sturgeon restoration event

Public officials and school students from the Danube Delta area were expected Friday in Isaccea to repopulate the Danube with 5,000 diamond sturgeons under a project called  “Developing a station for monitoring migratory fish: sturgeon and mackerel – Isaccea,” with this being the third such activity since the beginning of the year.

The event called “Come and baptise your sturgeon!” marks the 33rd anniversary of Government Decision 983/1990 under which the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve (RBDD) was recognised and protected, and the idea of the activity belongs to Director of the Danube Delta National Research and Development Institute (INCDDD) Marian Tudor, unveiled at Parliament Palace in Bucharest  on International Children’s Day.

“This way, we tried to make a connection between the child and the student of today and the adult of tomorrow, seeing and symbolically baptising a fish before releasing it into the Danube, thinking that the fish will grow up and return to the Danube, in 10, 20 years. They will grow and mature at the same time. And maybe this child of today, the fisherman of 10-15 years from now, will keep this image and feel somehow responsible for protecting the sturgeon returned to the Danube for breeding,” Tudor told AGERPRES.

“Come and baptise your sturgeon!” was selected by the Administration of the Reserve to mark RBDD Day amidst the importance of the sturgeon species.

“The fact that there are three diamond sturgeons from a previous population is a great achievement and we are happy to be able to demonstrate that all the activities in support  of population recovery have purpose, that what we do is not only at a declarative level, that we want to preserve the biodiversity of these species, but we actually have the proof that we are doing something very good for the environment and for the sturgeon species,” said Marilena Maereanu a specialist in the artificial reproduction of sturgeons.

“When we wrote the project, we hoped to release at least 4,000-4,500 babies. We now have babies far beyond our expectations. There are almost

20,000 babies, which for the Danube and our area is a big win,” said INCDDD  official Mihaela Tudor, project activity coordinator.

Lower Danube is the breeding ground where the last wild populations of sturgeon in the European Union reproduce naturally. They are indicator species  for environmental quality because of the multitude of habitats they use throughout their lives.