The first Steering Group meeting of the project “Joint actions to raise awareness on overexploitation of Danube sturgeons in Romania and Bulgaria” was held in Sofia, 22-23 January 2013. The project team shared up-to-date information on sturgeons, and discussed problems and threats to their future. The participants analysed legislation related to sturgeons and the challenges ahead of the team.
During the meeting, two recent surveys were presented: the TRAFFIC report on trade in sturgeon caviar in Bulgaria and Romania, and the preliminary results from a market survey on illegal caviar trade in Bulgaria and Romania.
The Steering Group is an advisory panel consisting of experts from different institutions dealing with the protection of sturgeons as well as controls of fishing and the caviar trade.
“The support by the Steering Group and the valuable inputs already given during the discussions will be of great help for the implementation of the project”, said Jutta Jahrl, Project Manager from WWF in Austria.
The project “Joint actions to raise awareness on overexploitation of Danube sturgeons in Romania and Bulgaria” was approved by the EU’s Life+ programme for funding in July 2012. The project is being implemented by WWF in Austria, Bulgaria and Romania until September 2015. The project team will tackle overfishing, the main direct threat to the survival of Danube sturgeons.