The sturgeons from the project are stocked in various sizes to maximize survival rates, starting at sizes below 1 cm. The last batch of the 2023 year class was released at the end of February with an average size of 25 cm, equipped with PIT and color tags.

Adopt a sturgeon and save them from extinction

Sturgeons are the world’s most endangered group of animals. Two of the six sturgeon species that previously inhabited the Danube River Basin have already become extinct in the area.

Successful sterlet rearing in 2023

This year a total of 35.380 sterlets were released into the Austrian Danube and tributaries. A couple hundred individuals are still in the hatchery and are kept for further reproduction and the living genetic databank.

Children set an example for the protection of sturgeons

In October, a mural action took place on the New Danube in Vienna under the project management of the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna. Children from the mentoring organization younus created a mural with the artist RoxS. To create awareness for the precarious situation of the sturgeons, juvenile fish were also released into the Danube.

International Monitoring 2023

One important part of the LIFE Boat 4 Sturgeon project is the establishment of a standardized Danube-wide population monitoring for all four sturgeon species. In order to target different age classes, it is necessary to use different methods.

Danube Day 2023 in Austria

Each year, Danube Day invites around 79 million people in the 14 Danube countries to partake in a beautiful joint celebration and outdoor events throughout several Danube countries! Established in 2004, Danube Day has been an opportunity to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the Danube River Protection Convention on 29 June 1994 in Sofia, Bulgaria and celebrates the Danube and its tributaries and their vital role in providing water, food, power, recreation, and livelihood.

Floating hatchery in development

One of the six rescue measures of the LIFE-Boat 4 Sturgeon project is the construction of a floating hatchery station on the Danube in Vienna.

Big fish on board for the LIFE-Boat 4 Sturgeon project

A huge milestone was achieved at the beginning of May for the LIFE-Boat 4 Sturgeon project. After long preparations the team was finally able to obtain 21 mature beluga sturgeon (Huso huso) broodstock of Danube origin. The individuals were transported to a project facility in Hungary and will be tested for pedigree before being divided between locations in Austria and Hungary to minimize risks. Thereby, another step towards the projects conservation goals for sturgeons was made by creating the basis for a successful propagation of this endangered species.

Sturgeon offspring in Vienna

The sterlet hatchery on the Danube Island in Vienna, which was built and operated in the previous project, was put back into operation in mid-April 2023. The larvae were already released in the Austrian Danube. This measure is intended to contribute significantly to the highly endangered population of this last sturgeon species that still occurs naturally in Austria. This allows a self-reproducing population to develop.