Saving the sturgeons

The EU Protects campaign featured our colleagues for their work on saving the endangered Danube sturgeons. Find the whole article on

Sturgeon populations in the Danube river have been dropping over the past 50 years. The loss of this ancient fish would have serious consequences for the health of the river and the Danube’s fishing communities alike.

Learn about the ordinary heroes working to protect the sturgeon habitat, the animals and communities that depend on it.

Thomas Friedrich

University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Austria
Manager of the Vienna-based  “Life-Sterlet” recovery project

Thomas 1 300x261 - Saving the sturgeons“Today, Europe’s sturgeons are threatened by overfishing, habitat reduction, dams and other physical barriers to their migration routes. With the EU’s help, we are working with different countries in the region to overcome these threats.”
“Sturgeons play an important role in the whole ecosystem. By combining research and active conservation, it is possible to improve the river for all of its inhabitants – from fish to human.”
“It’s about more than one species. It’s about whether our society decides that we value a healthy environment.”

Ekaterina Voynova

WWWF Bulgaria, Project Coordinator “LIFE for Danube Sturgeons”

Ekat 255x300 - Saving the sturgeons“Bulgaria is a major producer of legal caviar worldwide. Because of their high-end status, wild sturgeon eggs have fallen prey to poachers in the illegal caviar trade.”
“Through this EU-funded project, we work with Bulgarian, Romanian, Ukrainian and Serbian law enforcement officers to protect wild sturgeon spawning along the whole lower Danube, from the Iron Gate all the way to the Black Sea.”

Jutta Jahrl

WWF Austria, Project Manager “LIFE for Danube Sturgeons”

Jutta  272x300 - Saving the sturgeons“We coordinate the EU project committed to protecting sturgeons. We work directly with fishing communities in the Danube region who have depended on sturgeons for generations.”
“We hold public talks and training sessions with the fishermen to understand their needs and look into alternative livelihoods such as tourism or manufacturing local products.”

Cristina Munteanu

WWF Romania, Project Coordinator “LIFE for Danube Sturgeons”

Cristina 273x300 - Saving the sturgeons“Through the EU’s Danube conservation project, we’ve developed an educational kit for young people. It provides information about the Danube, its sturgeons and other natural resources.”

“This project is about more than just education, and it applies beyond Romania: We try to prepare people in the Danube region to create revenue in their communities as well as cultivate a respect for theirsurroundings.”

Our project “LIFE FOR DANUBE STURGEONS” focuses on saving the flagship fish of the Danube – sturgeons. The reasons for the decline are complex, but lack of awareness and information is a root cause of the most important one, overexploitation. Despite strict legal protection, illegal fishing and trade in meat and caviar from wild sturgeons still endanger the last survivors of these ancient and iconic fish species.