Fishery/Fish Biology

Activity report 2015_2016

Activity report 2012_2013

Co-ordinator: Dr. Mirjana Lenhardt


The Expert Group “Fishery/Fish Biology” was established in 1960. The first leader of Expert Group was Prof. Dr. Theodor Busnita (till 1973). During 1974 and 1975 IAD president and General Secretary performed role of group leader. During the period 1976-2003 Prof. Dr. Nicolae Bacalbasa-Dobrovici from Romania was a leader of group. During last years several different thematic problems emerged in work of this group.

1. Sturgeon

Six species of sturgeon are native to the Danube River Basin. The need for conservation action is urgent, given that recent observations in the Lower Danube indicate that all sturgeon populations are near extinction. That was the main reason for preparation of the Action Plan for the conservation of sturgeons (Acipenseridae) in the Danube River Basin (Nature and Environment, No. 144), 2006 ( This Action Plan is the result of a major collaborative process, engaging sturgeon stakeholders from across the Danube River Basin as well as from further afield. The centerpiece of this process was a consultative technical workshop held in Petronell, Austria, in July 2005. The initiative for this workshop, as well as for the proposal on establishment of sturgeon as the flag animal for the Danube River came from Dr Bloesch Juerg, former president of IAD. Analysis of sturgeon catch data in Serbian part of the Danube River was performed and results published in the Journal Biodiversity and Conservation (2006) 15: 1967-1976 (“Assessment of extinction risk and reasons for decline in sturgeon”, Lenhardt et al.).
Expert Meeting on coordination and implementation of sturgeon stocking programmes for the Lower Danube River and of the North – West Black Sea Region was held in Sarulesti, Romania, from 21-22 June 2006.

2. Non-native fish species

Bearing in mind words of Courtney & Taylor (1984) that “An introduction is an introduction, whether the source is intranational, intracontinental or foreign. Impacts, ranging from negligible to major, are to be expected.” monitoring of distribution of non-native fish species in the Danube River Basin is one of the most important tasks for ichthyologists. Amongst the most impressive East-to-West invasions of European inland waters in recent decades are those of topmouth gudgeon, the Chinese (Amur) sleeper Perccottus glenii and Ponto-Caspian gobies. According to data obtained from ichthyologists from Slovakia, Serbia and Bulgaria, Manuscript “Distribution of Amur sleeper (Perccottus glenii Dubowski 1877) in the Danube River Basin” is being prepared for publication.

3. Management of Freshwater Fisheries on Bordering Rivers

The Project “Management of Freshwater Fisheries on Bordering Rivers” was financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and finished in 2005. Scientists and relevant governmental institutions from Norway, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia participated in this project.
The Project was intended to facilitate effective decision-making in freshwater fisheries management on the Danube and Sava Rivers through joint policy development and institutional strengthening, along with the documentation on best practices and awareness rising in effective fisheries management. The project aims were to be achieved by setting up a broad cooperation framework with 3 countries (Republic of Croatia, Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Republic of Serbia), as well as by a framework agreement for protection of commercial fish species.
Project follow-up application procedure is completed, and main activity in this project period will be establishment of monitoring station on the bordering part of the Danube River between Croatia and Serbia.