On 30 October, the 120 delegates from 18 countries attending the International Conference "Conservation of Danube Sturgeons - a challenge or a burden" issued the Galati Declaration on Sturgeon Conservation in the Danube Basin and Black Sea, which from now on will guide the implementation of the Pan-European Sturgeon Action Plan under the Bern Convention and EU Habitats Directive.

The conference was jointly organized by “Dunarea de Jos” University of Galati (Research and Development Center for Sturgeon, Aquatic Habitats and Biodiversity), the DSTF (Danube Sturgeon Task Force), the Romanian Ministry of Water and Forests, the Romanian Ministry of Environment, NAFA (Romanian National Agency for Fisheries and Aquaculture), WSCS (World Sturgeon Conservation Society) and WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) and took place under the patronage of the Romanian Presidency of the EUSDR (EU Strategy for the Danube Region) and the Romanian Academy, held on 28-30 October in Galati.  

The 120 conference participants represented fisheries, water and environmental administrations, the scientific community and civil society from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Moldova, Ukraine, Georgia, Turkey, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Canada and the European Commission. It was the first ever joint discussion of sturgeon conservation issues among representatives from the Danube Basin and the Black Sea countries.
The “Galati Declaration” puts forward key messages to decision makers from all relevant institutions and other stakeholders as a basis for shaping future actions and the way forward to saving sturgeons from extinction.

"I strongly believe that the “Galați Declaration” represents the beginning of new and much stronger collaborations between specialists and officials from the Danube and Black Sea countries. The conference motto "Together for Sturgeons" will be the guide for action because sturgeons don´t know borders, so their conservation and recovery requires urgent cross-border efforts. This joint declaration provides the necessary context for treating causes rather than effects and will improve the Danube Sturgeons status in Danube and Black Sea Basin” (Tudor IONESCU- main organizer).

The "Galați Declaration" can be consulted here: www.sturgeon.ugal-declaration-pdf.

The official website of the conference: