Sportfiskarna - EAA Sweden presents a historic return: Atlantic sturgeon to be released in the Göta River

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26 Mar

EAA Sweden, Sportfiskarna, presents a great step forward as the project "The Return of Sturgeon," has received the administrative green light for the release of Atlantic sturgeon in the Göta River. The project can now move from paperwork to action and begin the reintroduction of this giant fish species to its former home waters.




A century ago, the last Atlantic sturgeons swam in the Göta and Nordre rivers. The species disappeared in the early twentieth century mainly due to overfishing and migratory barriers such as hydropower plants. It is now classified as regionally extinct in Sweden's red list. However, a historic return is expected as the Atlantic sturgeon is given the chance to recover in Swedish waters.

Swedish Anglers Association, together with the University of Gothenburg, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, and the Gothenburg Natural History Museum, joined a coalition of different expertise aiming at reintroducing Atlantic sturgeon with the Göta and Nordre rivers as its main area.


Why is the sturgeon so important?

The sturgeon, with its remarkable cultural-historical value, represents a profound link to human historical identity and survival. The fish has played a significant role in Scandinavian history, with archaeological finds in the Göta River dating back to the 15th century. The reintroduction of this iconic species is not only an action to preserve biodiversity but also a way to restore the lost identity of the waterway. The sturgeon will lead to renewed attention and appreciation for the importance of rivers, which can strengthen the local community's ties to these important and beautiful ecosystems. Last but not least, a successful reintroduction could also open up the possibility of sustainable fishing in the future, further emphasizing the importance of sturgeons on multiple levels.

"In a time of setbacks for nature, environmental difficulties, and the extinction of species at an unprecedented rate, the reintroduction of an extinct species will send an important and inspiring signal to conservationists across Europe and the Western world," sums up Linnéa Jägrud, project leader and biologist.


German-born sturgeons transported to Sweden

In collaboration with sturgeon experts from the Leibniz Institute for Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (Berlin), the project has secured access to fry and genetically valuable individuals. This as German researchers have extensive experience in working on the ecology of Atlantic sturgeon and the reintroduction of this iconic species. The sturgeons, which have been hatched in Germany, are now being prepared for their new environment in Sweden, where they will play an important role in the richly nuanced ecosystem of the Göta and Nordre rivers.


Interesting facts through monitoring with acoustic telemetry

An important part of the reintroduction work is the monitoring and follow-up of the sturgeons. Through telemetry equipment1, the movement patterns of the sturgeons can be monitored and analysed, providing valuable insights into where in the river the sturgeons find food and what the most viable habitat conditions are. The monitoring executing in this project on sturgeons will also benefit other species.

This project is funded by Naturkompaniet, Rewilding Europe (Wildlife Comeback Fund), Patagonia, and the Carl Trygger Foundation for Scientific Research.

 
Find SportFiskarna’s full article on the topic here !



Photo credits : from the filming of Fishermen's Realm season 2


1  More information on how Acoustic Telemetry works can be found here: https://secoora.org/fact/acoustic-telemetry/

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