Saving Small Streams for Sturgeons

Rovshan Abbasov

Other projects

28 Nov 2011

Improving Habitat for Caspian Sturgeons

20 Aug 2018

Developing Fish Passages in Outlet Parts of Small Mountain Streams

The project aims to protect sturgeons increasing awareness of the society about the importance of sturgeons. The aim of the project is to identify problems more specifically and develop a new holistic scheme that enable to protect habitats of sturgeons.


Caspian Sea contains over the 90% of world's sturgeons. The small streams of Azerbaijan are preferred spawning grounds for sturgeons. These species are the only source for black caviar. Water withdrawals, wrong watershed management and pollution make significant changes in sturgeon habitats. The author of the project has developed a methodology to set environmental flows for small streams Abbasov and Smakhrin, 2009. In 2011 author received a grant from Rufford Foundation and developed a devise that protects young fish from being sucked into the irrigation pipes. Simultaneously, author started to study habitat issues of sturgeons. In 2013 the new methodology that enables to asses vulnerability of small streams Abbasov and Smakhtin, 2012). In 2014 author started to study ecosystem services of small streams. The study confirmed that economic losses from lost of sturgeon habitats are huge. The most strange issue is in that sturgeons are gradually being forgotten by the responsible parties. Some experts consider that it is "too late" to restore sturgeon habitats in small streams. However, these problems are related to poor management in the basins of these rivers. Therefore, author considers that using holistic approach to the watershed management; it is possible to save sturgeons.

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