Romania will open the largest wild sturgeon breeding farm at Tamadau, the southeastern Calarasi county in this October, with the facility to start operating in 2014.
The investments in the breeding farm began nearly ten years ago, and while it was originally able to breed 200,000 fry, its capacity will reach 500,000 fry following the project funded by the EU that is currently under way.
‘We’ll be able to open the farm upgraded with the support of the German technology in October, but it will be commissioned next year. We’ve invested over five million euros in this unit and it will be the biggest investment in Romania and certainly the largest wild sturgeon breeding farm in the EU’, the company’s manager Robert Raduta .
He argued there is need to extend a ban on sturgeon fishing in the Danube River, which is to end in 2016, according to the regulations in force, since, he explained, the sturgeon resources in the Caspian and Azov Seas have been depleted and beluga sturgeon still exists only in Romania.
In order to develop the Danube sturgeon population on the long-term, the programme aimed at re-inhabiting the Danube with such fish should continue, a programme initiated by the Romanian agriculture ministry that has been stopped for three years amid a lack of funds.
‘It is one hundred percent true that the ban on the sturgeon fishing should continue and the specialists and the EU will decide it. The generations have not yet been restored. We have lost Fringebarbel sturgeon and the Atlantic sturgeon and if we fail to continue the ban, we’ll also lose the Russian sturgeon. The fishermen brought me four Russian sturgeons last year and they brought eight in the year prior to it. Therefore, there are not Russian sturgeons any longer and the programme for re-inhabiting the Danube should be extended by at least three years’, Raduta stressed.
According to a World Wide Fund report, Romania and Bulgaria, which were the most important exporters of caviar of the wild Danube sturgeon, currently own the largest wild population of this species in the EU, which the Romanian authorities believe to be endangered due to illegal use.