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(DF) Bulgaria Extends Ban on Sturgeon Fishing in Danube River, Black Sea by Five Years

December 23 (BTA) – Bulgaria has extended a ban on fishing for endangered sturgeon species in its stretch of the River Danube and its territorial waters of the Black Sea by five years as of January 1, 2021, the Agriculture Ministry said on Wednesday. The ban was imposed jointly by Agriculture Minister Desislava Taneva and Environment and Water Minister Emil Dimitrov to protect the following species: the waxdick (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii), the sterlet (Acipenser ruthenus), the starry sturgeon (Acipenser stellatus ) and the beluga (Huso huso). The current ban is also effective for five years as of January 1, 2016. Accidentally caught sturgeons have to be returned in the water immediately, regardless of their condition. Skippers must record in the fishing log the following information for each accidentally caught fish: species, sex, weight and size. Amateur fishers are also obliged to record this information about accidentally caught sturgeon fish. Sturgeon fish are some of the most endangered species and are protected by international, European and national legislation. The Institute of Oceanology with the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Fish Resources and WWF Bulgaria are unanimous that the fishing ban must be extended, said the Agriculture Ministry. NV/DD