Over the last few decades, the anthropization of rivers, with the building of dams that prevent fish from travelling upriver to spawn, and increased pollution due to industrialization and illegal fishing, have brought the sturgeons onto the brink of extinction, and not only in Italy.
While in Italy the common and the beluga sturgeon have disappeared, there are still specimens of Adriatic sturgeon, an endemic species of the upper Adriatic Sea and of the rivers that flow into it. However, the International Union for Conservation of Nature has classified it as a vulnerable species.
For almost 20 years, the Veneto and Lombardy Regional Authorities, in collaboration with local Public Administrations and with the European Community, have been carrying out projects for the recovery of the Adriatic sturgeon, with the help of the Italian Federation for Sports Fishing and Underwater Activities (F.I.P.S.A.S). On several occasions, FIPSAS has introduced into suitable watercourses microchipped specimens of potential broodfish and juvenile fish, obtained by means of controlled breeding within the precincts of the Lombard company Storione Ticino.
It is for this reason that we at Friend of the Sea, a non-governmental organization safeguarding sustainable fishing and aquaculture, have decided to immortalise the efforts undertaken and the results obtained, taking an active part in the release of sturgeons in rivers.