Species conservation

Fishes

Besides mammals and birds, there are threatened fish species as well.
The Bulgarian ichthyo-fauna includes species threatened with extinction at global level - Sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) and Ship Sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris). For decades there has been no data of caught individuals, thus, unfortunately, we can consider them extinct from the Bulgarian fauna. The rest of the Sturgeon species (Acipenseridae) are also declining, and without specific timely measures they will share the same fate. Western Brook Lamprey (Lampetra planeri) is also considered extinct. Species with limited distribution, such as the Chub (Leuciscus cephalus) and the European Mudminnow (Umbra krameri), can quite easily become extinct (if not already).
Green Balkans has been working for the conservation of the Ship Sturgeon (Acipenser nudiventris). This species is of particularly unfavorable status in the IUCN Red List. It has been classified under CR category (regarding the Danube population). The conservation status of the Ship Sturgeon for the rest of its natural range is bad, too.

The threats to this species (as well as to all Sturgeons) in Bulgaria are: long-lasting overexploitation (both in the Danube and the Black Sea), changes in the hydrology and hydro-morphology of the Danube, pollution.

What we do
Our work for the conservation of the Ship Sturgeon aims at the establishment of a gene bank based on wild and captive individuals. In this regard, the following activities are implemented:
- Working with local fishermen along the Danube and the Black Sea coast in order to catch live individuals.
- making efforts to import inseminated roe or live young individuals bred in captivity.

Results
There are no caught individuals so far, which is an indication of the species’ critical status in the Bulgarian aquatory.
Green Balkans has conducted active negotiations with the Federal Center for Fishery Genetics and Selection in Krasnodar, Russia, about import of inseminated roe.
The Organization has implemented an information and awareness raising campaign among fishermen and inhabitants of the Danube region

How you can help
- by taking part in the establishment of a gene bank, captive breeding of individuals and the subsequent release into the wild – if you are a fisherman in the Danube or Black Sea region, keep any caught individual of this species alive and contact us (money prize is provided);
- by providing financial support for the conservation of Ship Sturgeon.

Our activities for the conservation of Ship Sturgeon are implemented with the financial support of the Enterprise for Management of Environment Protection Activities at the Ministry of Environment and Waters.

Links:
www.fishbase.org
www.iucnredlist.org
www.slrb-bg.com