The first batch of fry of Siberian sturgeon of around 14 specimens were released into Chara river in the Kalarsky district of the Trans-Baikal Territory.
On May 26, Udokan Copper took an environmental action to repopulate a “red-list” species of fish, assisted by specialists of the Angara-Baikal Regional Fishery Department. At the request of Udokan Copper, the growing, delivery and release of the sturgeons to the waters was fulfilled by employees of a special fish-breeding organization led by Mr. Konstantin Loginov.To deliver the live cargo packed in special containers from Chita to the north of Zabaikalye, a special An-2 flight was charted.
As was noted by Mr. Ivan Makarov, head of Udokan Copper’s environmental security office, the release of the Siberian sturgeon fry into Chara river, on the basin of Lena river, was arrabged by the Company, and the project was approved the Russian Federation Research Institute of Fishery and Oceanography.
The number of the young fish to be released, as well as the release site, was approved by the Angara-Baikal Regional Fishery Department. According to him, Udokan Copper is planning to release over 300 thousand Siberian sturgeons into Chara river over the next 7 years, in order to restore the lost population in the northern waters of the Kalarsky district.
As yearly as in the beginning of the last century, the Siberian sturgeon used to the most dispersed species in the northern Zabaikalye waters. The active phase of land invasion, which fell on the Soviet years, lead to depletion of the population, and by yearly 90's of the last century it became a rare species registered in the Red List of the Trans-Baikal Territory.
According to Mr. Konstantin Loginov, director of the fish-breeding organization, this is the first time any activity to repopulate the sturgeon takes place in Zabaikalye. The sturgeon is one of the most ancient specimens of the surviving actinopterygians. He expressed confidence that the northern rivers of Zabaikalye shall again see a stable population, and in 18 years from now the Siberian sturgeon shall start shedding its eggs there and shall no more be a rare and vanishing species.