The brochures are created as a result of the series of meetings with law enforcement agencies in the project countries, who together with the LIFE for Danube Sturgeon’s team have identified their greatest information needs that would help them in cases of illegally poached sturgeons. Only in May 2020, Romanian law enforcement agencies reported three cases of wildlife crime involving sturgeon, species on the brink of extinction. Sterlet, Stellate and Russian sturgeons were discovered in fishing nets by law enforcement and later released. This is not the first recent case of sturgeon poaching in the area. In October 2019, Romanian Danube Delta Police rescued a 200 kg poached Beluga sturgeon.
The cooperation and effectiveness of law enforcement is more important than ever, as there had already been strong indications of more sturgeon poaching activity in Bulgaria and Ukraine. Hundreds of karmaci hook lines were discovered and confiscated by authorities in Spring 2020, from which 2 Beluga sturgeon were rescued and released.
The Sturgeon identification guide is designed to support the identification of sturgeon species that can be found in the Danube and the Black Sea. It describes seven sturgeon species – one of them an exotic species popular in aquaculture – and three hybrids. The guide also offers detailed features that can be used to differentiate between the species.
The primary goal of this guide is to help law enforcement officials identify sturgeon species they may encounter through their work.
“Guidelines: How to Handle and Release Sturgeon” Safely shows through using clear visual tools how enforcement officials should act on the spot when a sturgeon is subject to illegal poaching – from how to pull sturgeon safely out of the water through temporarily restraining sturgeon when necessarily to how to measure and photograph the species.
Next to be released is the brochure in support to prosecution with the title “Fighting Wildlife Crime: Danube Sturgeons – European And International Legal Framework for Sturgeons Protection”. Stay tuned and keep checking our website for more news and materials on the Danube’s treasure – the sturgeons.