First sturgeon fitted with satellite transmitter, back into Danube

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The first wild sturgeon fitted with a satellite transmitter is back into the Danube on Friday, as part of protection activities promoted by a group of Romanian researchers, headed by Radu Suciu and Norwegian researchers, headed by Caroline Knight.
Radu Suciu, researcher of the Danube Delta National Institute, said that this system will be also used in the case of other four sturgeons, to be attached with satellite transmitters next week and afterwards released in the Danube.
The 20 satellite transmitting devices to be mounted on the sturgeons till the end of next year will offer the possibility to Romanian and Norwegian researchers to benefit of the first information on the sturgeons itinerary.
„In the framework of a project funded by the Government of Norway, with one million euros and co-financed by the Ministry for Environment in Romania, an ultrasound video camera will be also purchased, which will transmit sturgeon populations images. The project is wished to serve as a start for the type of tourism practiced on the western coast of the USA, so that people aboard ships can follow the sturgeons”, said Suciu.
The sturgeon is the biggest fresh water fish species in the world, but the number of the migrating marine sturgeon species has followed a downward trend in the past decades as a consequence of the intensive fishing, as well as of pollution and eutrophication of the river and sea environment.
For these reasons, starting 2006, commercial fishing of sturgeon has been banned on a 10- year period, concurrently with this measure the national authorities allocating two million euros for populating the Danube with artificially reproduced sturgeon larvae.
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