The 17th Steering Group Meeting of the Priority Area 6 was held on April 7th 2022 in a virtual format with the attendance of 41 participants. The key topic of the meeting was the establishment and fundamental framework of monitoring system for the purpose of conservation, protection and preservation of sturgeon species, as well as the progress of The Danube Sturgeon Task Force (DSTF), frameworks and agreements relevant for sturgeon conservation in the Danube Basin, ICPDR role and perspective on sturgeon, concept of ecological Corridors as habitats migration route for Sturgeon Species and the methodology for establishing the monitoring system.
The sturgeon species is on the edge of extinction, so actions, initiatives and effective measures are needed. One of the essential steps for species conservation is establishing a unified methodology and monitoring system. For this purpose, DSTF presented and initiated the discussion on draft Paper on Sturgeon Monitoring for the purpose of identifying next steps on establishing the monitoring system. The discussion around establishing a unified methodology and monitoring system led to recognizing a need to establish basin-wide cooperation between national authorities dealing with nature protection, water management and fishery, involvement of relevant international bodies such as ICPDR and GFCM, establishment of basin and country-level coordination with water management in a light of Danube Ministerial statement on “the need to strengthen cooperation with nature protection authorities” and as the crucial element – ensure availability of finance.
This Steering group meeting identified that it is crucial to define and establish a coordinated approach across the basin for the establishment of the effective sturgeon monitoring system, as well as to build on existing data and use the knowledge from good examples.