DANUBE STURGEON (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Env and Eco)

News-CRUX-10     23rd November 2023        

Context: Recently, a study has exposed that sturgeon products available in the international market are sourced from illegal trade, blatantly violating wildlife protection norms.

Key Points

  • The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1998 listed the species as endangered and put restrictions on fishing of sturgeons from the Danube and Black Sea.
  • In 2000, CITES even imposed an international labelling system for all caviar products to curb illegal trade.
  • The Danube is the last river body with functional populations of beluga, Russian, stellate and sterlet sturgeons, according to the authors of the study.

Danube Sturgeon

  • About: Sturgeons represent a natural heritage of the Danube River Basin and key indicator species for high ecological quality of rivers.
  • Habitat: 27 species of sturgeons and paddlefishes distributed across the Northern hemisphere.
  • Threats: Blocked migration routes through dams, Loss or degradation of habitats, and Pollution.
  • IUCN Red list: There are 6 species of sturgeon in the Danube River. Five of them are now listed as critically endangered.
  • CITES: Appendix-II.

Danube River

  • About: Danube River, river, the second longest in Europe after the Volga. 
  • Origin: It rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for some 1,770 miles (2,850 km) to its mouth on the Black Sea.
  • Passes: 10 countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine.