This is a great success for WWF Serbia, the United Fishermen of Serbia and the Association of Commercial Fishermen.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection of Republic of Serbia has adopted a permanent fishing ban on Sterlet, which will significantly contribute to the restoration of populations of this endangered fish species.
The Sterlet fishing ban will be in force from 1st of January 2019.
WWF Serbia had conducted a study in June, showing that in Serbia, Sterlet is intensively fished during the seasonal spawning ban, under the legally allowed size of 40 cm, and has been sold illegally in restaurants and markets across Serbia. WWF Serbia expects this illegal practice to cease with the implementation of the new regulation.
“The introduction of the ban is a result of the joint work of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and WWF Serbia, which shows the importance of cooperation between state institutions and civil society organisations. According to the “Environmental Report in the Republic of Serbia” in 2017, the catch of Sterlet increased by about 44%. We believe that the ban on fishing Sterlet will enable the restoration of the population of this species, which is very vulnerable worldwide. This is a great success for nature conservation in Serbia”, says Duška Dimović from WWF Serbia.
According to the IUCN’s Red list, Sterlet is a vulnerable species due to overfishing, destruction of natural habitats and water pollution. The initiative of WWF Serbia was supported by the United Anglers of Serbia and the Association of Commercial Fishermen.
“We want to commend a successful example of cooperation between the experts, civil society organisations and the relevant ministry, on the protection and conservation of biodiversity. At the same time, we invite all competent institutions to make additional efforts in order to bring this permanent ban into force. We hope that the Sterlet ban will not be one of the cases when the enforcement of rules remain just on paper“, says the Executive Director of the United Fishermen of Serbia, Ljubomir Pejčić.