DTP MEASURES project Kick-off meeting, 1 October 2018, BOKU-Vienna
Ten countries along the Danube (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine) join forces in an EU-funded project to conserve endangered migratory fish species in the Danube river basin by identifying and improving access to habitats and promoting the establishment of ecological corridors.
The MEASURES project was officially launched on October 1st 2018 in Austria during an event hosted by University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna. The launch was part of a two-day kick-off meeting bringing together key stakeholders and international project partners to focus on the project’s main topic: managing and restoring aquatic ecological corridors for migratory fish species in the Danube River Basin, or MEASURES. ( information from the DTP - MEASURES website)
The Kick-off event was officially opened by Thomas Hein, Project Coordinator from the Institute of Hydrobiology and Aquatic Ecosystem Management, Boku. He stressed that along the Danube River 900 continuity interruptions have been identified by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) in the Danube River Basin Management Plan (DRBMP). These obstacles are stemming from different infrastructure projects such as flood protection, hydropower generation and navigation. These are barriers especially for fish and thus, for ecological corridors, by threatening their natural migration patterns and by preventing access to species specific habitats/spawning grounds in all sections of the Danube River. Specific fish species, especially Sturgeon and other long-migratory fish species are good bio-indicators for the quality of ecological corridors due to their specific needs during their long lifecycles indicating the overall corridor quality.
Gusztáv Csomor from the Joint Secretariat of the Danube Transnational Programme told, that 7 projects out out of the 76 DTP projects belong to specific objectives 2.3 (Foster the restoration and management of ecological corridors) and the MEASURES projects units 12 project partners from 8 countries and more over additional 12 associated strategic partners will facilitate the implementation of the project. The EUSDR PA4 priority area on 'water quality' is also participating within the project as associated startegic partner, via the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The representative of EUSDR PA4 acts as an Advisory Board member with the aim to foster the project in the capitalisation process and also help to embedd project results in the EUSDR Action Plan.
Expert of the Austrian Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism, Mr Karl Schwaiger, spoke about the importance and relevance of the MEASURES project from the Austrian point of view and followinghis speech, the Executive Secretary of the ICPDR, Mr Ivan Zavadsky sopke shortly about the ICPDR Sturgeon Strategy and the ICPDR's expectations from the MEASURES project.
The afternoon session was focusing on the introduction of the project main work-packages explaining the main tasks and expected results to be reached.
Following to the official part of the conference the meeting participants were invited to the LIFE-sterlet hatchery, which was created in the frame of the LIFE Sterlet project (Restoration of sterlet populations in the Austrian Danube), which project is aiming at to apply innovative methods for breeding autochthonous sterlets ahead of releasing them into the wild. The release of genetic autochthonous juvenile sterlets will support the wild population by reaching the required population size for sustainable natural reproduction.
The project partners also met on 2 October 2018 to further discuss about the workspackages and next steps to implement.
Plenary Panel discussion with the speakers of 1 October 2018, Vianna, BOKU