Inland Fisheries

Sturgeon hatchery practices and management for release-Guidelines

Rehabilitation & mitigation

Sturgeon hatcheries play an important role in the rehabilitation of the sturgeon stocks in the Caspian Sea and elsewhere. Since the demise of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in 1991, a large part of the experience, expertise and specifi c knowledge on sturgeon hatchery practices and management in the Caspian Sea Basin has disappeared, while research and knowledge on sturgeon and hatchery practices in other regions have advanced rapidly in the last few decades.

Sturgeon restocking practices that resulted in limited success have caused a critical reassessment of the entire culture process, the strategies applied for conservation culture, the design of rehabilitation programmes, the design of hatcheries and the mode of their operation. This technical paper aims to increase global awareness and to guide and build capacity about the best practices currently available by providing senior and mid-level sturgeon hatchery staff with a practical tool for modern sturgeon hatchery practices and management.

The technical technical guidelines it contains focus on hatchery practices that are aimed at reproduction and growth of fry and fi ngerlings for restocking objectives. The technical guidelines address a wide range of issues, including: hatchery design and location; collection and transportation of wild broodstock; selection and maintenance of broodstock; tagging of sturgeon; water quality and supply; feeding and feed quality; selection of broodstock for controlled reproduction; spawning and gamete processing; rearing of larvae and juveniles in tanks; rearing of juveniles in ponds; release of fi ngerlings; sanitary and hygiene measures; hatchery documentation; hatchery maintenance and repair; staff and labour issues; monitoring and research; social and environmental responsibility; international regulations and conventions on sturgeons; and implementation and updating of these technical guidelines.

This technical paper provides specifi c technical guidelines, justifi cations for these technical guidelines and suggestions to support their implementation. The guidance provided is based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (1995) and contributes to the implementation of the Ramsar Declaration on Global Sturgeon Conservation (2006).