Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The core of the hucho populations is in the Balkans

Ljubljana, March 19, 2015. As a contribution to the world water day this year (March, 22.) scientists and experts in the field of fisheries, together with non-governmental organizations presented a survey on the distribution of hucho (Hucho hucho) populations in the Balkans. In the framework of the international campaign "Save the Blue Heart of Europe", 18 scientists from seven countries for the first time carried out an extensive survey of the distribution of hucho populations in rivers between Slovenia and Montenegro. The results showed that the Balkan rivers represent the last hot spot of this species. Natural populations were found in 43 hucho rivers in total length of 1.842 kilometers, corresponding to 65% of all populations globally.

>Miroslav Žaberl, the president of the Fisheries Association of Slovenia, Neža Posnjak, Campaign Coordinator for Slovenia, Ulrich Eichelmann, RiverWatch, and Steve Weiss, Karl-Franzens University Graz, at the press-conference in Ljubljana. 

The major threat to these populations is a massive hydropower development plan. Practically all hucho rivers are targets of substantial hydropower exploitation. A total of 93 dam projects were identified directly in river reaches supporting hucho and a large number of additional projects are located in tributaries or headwater reaches upstream of hucho habitat that will invariably degrade environmental conditions downstream. The full study can be found at: http://balkanrivers.net/sites/default/files/Huchen_Study_2015.pdf 

>Uli is stocking hucho into the Sava River close to Ljubljana.

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