Strategic Program on Applied Research for Sturgeon Management and Conservation
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Vahabnezhad, Arezoo A.
Safavi, Seyed Ebrahim
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AbstractThe lack of sustainable management programs has resulted in the drastic decline of sturgeons stocks in the Caspian Sea in the past two decades. Legal catch quotas for all Caspian littoral states has dropped from 28500 tons in 1985 to 460 tons in 2007 while caviar production in the Caspian Sea during the same period decreased from 3000 tons to 70 tons. Caviar production in the I.R. of Iran dropped from 305 tons in 1985 to about 11 tons in 2007. The "Strategic and applied research planning for sturgeon management and conservation" was developed with the collaboration of academicians from universities, researchers, experts, fishery authorities and representatives of the executive government to maintain sustainable development and rational management of sturgeon stocks in the Caspian Sea. The preparation and development of this planning was carried out through 121 sessions (2100 person hours) A comprehensive report (375 pg) was prepared which was divided into five volumes; Volume I comprises an introduction, objectives, strategies and planning, present status of production and caviar harvest, catch and export quotas, revenue generated and release of sturgeon fingerlings, Volume II comprises analysis of the problem by constructing a problem tree with 8 broad categories to analyze 344 problems and an objective tree which is the hierarchic flowchart of objectives with 9 broad categories with 241 items, Volume III comprises a review and analysis of previous and ongoing research (414 projects) on different aspects of sturgeon during the past 40 years, Volume IV comprises prioritizing research objectives outlined by the objective tree and finally Volume V which prioritizes primary objectives for 14 executive and 10 research programs. On the basis of the evaluation of the present status and for the sustainable development and rational management of sturgeon stocks a strategic and applied research planning program was proposed and developed within the framework of three primary objectives; 1) Management and sustainable use of Caspian Sea resources (5 programs), 2) Rehabilitation and restoration of stocks (5 programs), 3) Development of aquaculture (4 programs). The applied research program for each proposed executive program was outlined in 10 programs, 42 comprehensive plans and 222 projects. The primary objective on management and sustainable use of Caspian Sea resources includes 5 programs, 14 comprehensive plans and 63 projects, while the primary objective on rehabilitation and restoration of stocks includes 4 programs, 16 comprehensive plans and 87 projects. The primary objective to address sturgeon aquaculture includes 1 program, 12 comprehensive plans and 72 projects. The impacts and outcome of each of these programs was determined and presented. It is evident that if the present situation persists, the catch figures for adult sturgeon specimens and caviar production in Iran will reach zero in 2021. But if concerted efforts are taken and the proposed strategic and applied research planning program is executed (commencing from 2009) we can put a halt to these declining trends. By producing sturgeon fingerlings to restore population abundances, by conserving and protecting them in the Caspian Sea and by conducting applied research we can produce 206.4 tons of caviar by the year 2033. Apart from harvesting caviar from the Caspian Sea we can also annually produce 3000 tons sturgeon meat and 60 tons farmed caviar starting from the year 2023. The total budget proposed for implementation of this program for a period of 14 years (2008-2022) is USD 2483 million. If this budget is allocated in time and the proposed strategic program is properly and totally implemented, we can not only save many sturgeon populations from extinction but also ensure job opportunities for 6000 fisherman, provide 1480 new job opportunities and annually produce 266 tons of caviar which will generate USD 4957 million.
Publisher or UniversityIranian Fisheries Science Research Institute
Series : Nr48577;