In May, 50 European sturgeons were released in the Dutch rivers. This was done in the Nieuwe Maas near Rotterdam and in the Waal near Nijmegen. Blue Linked was involved at the start of the reintroduction of this extraordinary fish in our estuary. As a natural inhabitant of this environment, the sturgeon functions as an ambassador for the improvement of the quality of this typical Dutch habitat.
In September 2010, Michaël Laterveer of Blue Linked - then working as the curator of the Oceanium at Rotterdam Zoo - received three North-American sturgeons from the Intitut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei in Berlin. The arrival of the fish meant the start of a joint project between Rotterdam Zoo, Ark Natuurontwikkeling and the World Wildlife Fund.
The new home of the sturgeons was the Oceanium's North Sea aquarium. This meant that the fish had to be transferred slowly from fresh water to seawater. A delicate job, since this was hardly ever done before in public aquaria. But the results were successful. Up to today, the sturgeons are swimming in the Oceanium. They act as an example for the public to see the European sturgeons that only recently inhabit the Dutch rivers.
Michaël Laterveer (left) and Gijs van Zonneveld (right) treat a sturgeon in order to let it adapt to seawater (photo: R. Doolaard).
Arrival of the sturgeons in Rotterdam Zoo. From left to right: Gijs van Zonneveld (WNF), Michaël Laterveer (now: Blue Linked), Bram Houben (Ark Natuurontwikkeling), Ron Bernhard (Rotterdam Zoo) (photo: R. Doolaard).
North-American sturgeons in the Oceanium of Rotterdam Zoo (photo: R. Doolaard).