The newest attraction of the visitor center of Danube Biosphere Reserve in Vylkovo city is now open – come to meet the 3D sturgeon!
Sturgeon catches have declined by 99% in the past 30 years. In many areas, including the Danube delta in Ukraine, is now illegal to catch wild sturgeons, but the demand for wild caviar remains high and fuels a thriving black market and sturgeon poaching. According to IUCN, sturgeons are “more critically endangered than any other group of species.”
Sturgeons are emblematic for Vylkovo and the region, that is why the giant 3D image of a sturgeon is the newest attraction of the visitor center. The initiative is part of the project “LIFE for Danube Sturgeons”, which aims to save the flagship fish of the Danube by raising awareness of the root causes for the sturgeon numbers’ decline – overexploitation being the most important one.
The project also interacts with fishing communities to actively support them as they depend on the natural resources to secure their family income. While the sturgeon ban is in place in order to help sturgeon populations to recover, the team of “LIFE for Danube Sturgeons” works with fishermen to develop business plans and concrete business cases to offer alternative income sources. Simultaneously, other project activities are organised to increase the information on sturgeon available to the residents of Vylkovo and the guests of the city.
So, everyone is invited to visit one of the home cities of the Danube’s dinosaurs and take a real 3D photo with a sturgeon.