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Second Action on Restoration of Fish Population Held at Pripyat
The second action on releasing more than 700 sterlet babies into the Pripyat river was held on 7 October in the Republican Landscape Reserve “Middle Pripyat” in the Luniniec district (the Brest region). The event was organized by UNDP/GEF joint project “Catalyzing Sustainability of the Wetland Protected Area System in Belarusian Polesie through Increased Management Efficiency and Realigned Land Use Practices” together with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of Belarus. The first public action on stocking the Pripyat river with sterlet fish was held a year ago – on 19 October 2010 – also in the “Middle Pripyat”.
The event was attended by Antonius Broek, UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus, Vladimir Tsalko, Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection, senior officials of the Luniniec District Executive Committee, of the Landscape Reserves “Middle Pripyat” and “Luninsky” and representatives of local and national media.
Stocking the Pripyat river with sterlet fish is intended to contribute to the increase of its population and to facilitate restoration of the Dnieperpopulation of this valuable endangered fish.
– Today’s event is a good example of successful cooperation of UNDP and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection on conservation of biodiversity and sustainable natural resource management in Belarus, – said UNDP Resident Representative.
Sterlet is the only species of sturgeon that can be found in the Belarusian rivers. In the first half of the 20th century sterlet in the Dnieper river within Belarusused to be a commercial fish and its population was fairly large. Contamination of rivers with industrial, agricultural and municipal wastewaters, illegal fishing, drainage resulting in shoaling are among the reasons of sharp decline of the sterlet population in the region.
Many years would be needed to bring the sterlet population to the level enabling commercial fishing. Today fishing of sterlet which is the Red Book species is banned in Belarus.
Stocking the Pripyat river with sterlet fish is a pilot project designed to pilot the methodology and techniques of restoration of fish species included in the Red Book of the Republic of Belarus for the subsequent large–scale replication under the government programmes on endangered species conservation.
The event also included presentation of the achievements of capacity building efforts for the management of the “Middle Pripyat” Reserve under UNDP/GEF project. The participants visited the ecological and education center of the Reserve and the ecological pathway called “Along the willow valley” established in 2009–2010 with support from the project.
For further information please contact Alexey Tchistodarsky, UNDP/GEF Project PR Specialist, tel.: (017) 294 90 69 (in Minsk), mobile: 8 (029) 656 15 30.
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