Wednesday, December 10, 2014

10/12/2014: Endangered Turkish fish harmed further by dam

The survival of the endangered acipenser sturgeon fish in Turkey is now in danger due to the hydroelectric power plants (HES) on the Sakarya River, Today's Zaman reports.

The species is often referred to as the 'fish that spawn gold' due to their expensive price on the market. They face extinction due to overfishing and decreased accessibility to waters where they can deposit their eggs and are now being further threatened by the HES dams.

A few years ago, eggs obtained from Russia were released into the Black Sea. The fish then began to multiply by going south to the Sakarya River to procreate; however, the obstructions now created by the dams are preventing them from reaching their spawning areas. Despite the near extinction of the sturgeon fish, the construction of eight dams on the Sakarya River continues.

“The Sakarya River has certain areas where the fish go to spawn. The HES dams leave very small passages for the sturgeon fish and they are unable to swim through. These passages need to be expanded immediately,” stated Dr. Devrim Memiş, a professor of aquaculture at İstanbul University who specialises in the study of sturgeon fish.

He also explained: “We have traced juvenile fish in the two to three kilometre area near where the Sakarya River empties out into the Black Sea. This is a good sign; it shows that spawning is occurring. But we must now protect their migration route. We have written to the General Directorate of State Hydraulic Works, telling them that passageways must be made.” 

Read the article HERE.

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