© WWF/Ekaterina Voynova
Policy work: WWF led the development of the Danube Sturgeon Action Plan, which has been adopted by the Bern Convention and endorsed by the Council of Europe. Danube governments have formally committed themselves to implementing the plan. WWF is currently working with Serbia and Romania to restore migration across the Iron Gates dams, which would double the range of their migration. We are also lobbying governments on the lower Danube to maintain bans on fishing and to address the illegal trade in caviar. The Danube Stugeon Task Force, which WWF helped establish, is leveraging additional support from governmental and non-government stakeholders.
Restocking: We are pushing relevant authorities to support restocking of sturgeon on the Lower Danube, and promoting restocking ourselves. So far, WWF has released 50,000+ sturgeons in the Danube.
Scientific research: Since we still do not know enough about sturgeons, scientific work is key to our efforts to protect them. Our priority is to identify the species’ critical habitats, better understand their behaviour and ascertain their remaining population.
Engaging fishing communities: In our research, we aim to train and involve fishermen so they can use their expertise for conservation and benefit from alternative income. We also work with fishermen to identify and develop alternative livelihoods.
Raising awareness: We promote awareness of sturgeon and their plight among the general public, fisher communities and decision makers. We provide information and training to trading companies and customs and enforcement officers so that they can better observe and enforce CITES international trade regulations for the survival of sturgeons.