Remediation of Atlantic Sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus in the Oder River: Background and First Results

  • Jörn Gessner
  • Gerd-Michael Arndt
  • Frank Fredrich
  • Arne Ludwig
  • Frank Kirschbaum
  • Ryszard Bartel
  • Henning von Nordheim
Chapter

Abstract

At the end of the nineteenth century, sturgeon populations in the southern Baltic Sea drainages started to decrease dramatically. The last captures were reported from Lake Ladoga in 1984 and off Estonia in 1996. Today, sturgeons are considered extinct or missing in the Baltic. In 1996, the pilot phase of a federally funded remediation program was initiated. In parallel, population genetic analyses of historic samples of the species were carried out at the IGB, revealing the succession of two different species in the Baltic Sea drainage area. As a result, broodstock development is being carried out using Canadian populations of A. oxyrinchus. The evaluation of habitat status for early life stages has been performed in the River Oder. Alternative fisheries techniques, based on by-catch data of exotic sturgeons, have been developed to increase juvenile survival upon release. Since 2006, experimental releases of juvenile A. oxyrinchus have been carried out annually to determine habitat use, migration patterns and risks for population development.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the Federal Agency of Nature Conservation (BfN) and the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Protection and Nuclear Safety (BMU) for their continuous and substantial support and funding of this program. J.G. was employed from 1996 to 2009 through grants Nr. Az.: Z1.2-892 11-4/96, -7/99, and 9/05, and Z1.3-892 11 8/09. The Regional Research Institute for Agriculture and Fisheries has been a major supporter and partner in the work over the past 20 years. The Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) supports the program by institutional and project (FKZ 0330532, FKZ 0330718) funding. Without this support, the work would not have been possible.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jörn Gessner
    • 1
  • Gerd-Michael Arndt
    • 2
  • Frank Fredrich
    • 3
  • Arne Ludwig
    • 4
  • Frank Kirschbaum
    • 5
  • Ryszard Bartel
    • 6
  • Henning von Nordheim
    • 7
  1. 1.Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland FisheriesBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Fisch und Umwelt Mecklenburg-Vorpommern e.V.RostockGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und BinnenfischereiBerlinGermany
  4. 4.Department of Evolutionary GeneticsInstitute for Zoo and Wildlife ResearchBerlinGermany
  5. 5.Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Biology and Ecology of FishesHumboldt UniversityBerlinGermany
  6. 6.Zakład Ryb WędrownychInstytut Rybactwa ŚródlądowegoGdańskPoland
  7. 7.Fachgebiet Meeres- und KüstennaturschutzBundesamt für NaturschutzPutbusGermany

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