On 17 April, 2018 the second meeting of important stakeholders for the “LIFE for Danube Sturgeons” project, took place in Bucharest. Valuable input was obtained from representatives of the Romanian Police, the Border Police, the Danube Delta Police, Customs, the Institute for Research and Development of Aquatic Ecology, Fishing and Aquaculture in Galaţi, the National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Lower Danube University in Galaţi and the partners from Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority.
At the center of the discussion were the results of the study: “Analysis of the norms, procedures and legal framework determining the enforcement related to the conservation and trade of sturgeons in Romania”. The study was produced within the project and aims to enhance – together with the participation of competent law enforcement agencies – the effective implementation of legal procedures for sturgeon protection.
Particularly relevant to the participants in the meeting were the existing regulations and the roles and responsibilities of the different law enforcement institutions. Discussed were ways to improve collaboration between authorities and their readiness to participate in meetings with local fishing communities, to talk directly with people affected by fishing restrictions, which the agencies have to implement.
At the event, WWF Romania presented the alert platform: actionez.ro. The website, which will serve as an Online system for reporting illegal sturgeon fishing, is due to be launched in the early summer of this year (2018). The website will assist and make it easier for engaged citizens to report cases of sturgeon poaching and for the authorities to start an investigation.
WWF Romania also presented an education guide on sturgeons for young people. Educating young members of fishing communities will play an essential role in shaping up the right attitude in the young generation towards sturgeons and their protection. The education guide was received with much optimism and approval.
“We are glad that we had a fruitful meeting that brought us closer to our stakeholders and, above all, created solid grounds for future collaboration and support for our project activities in the coming months.”, says Cristina Munteanu, “LIFE for Danube Sturgeons” Project Coordinator in Romania