Dnipro River Day
10,000 baby sterlets were released into the Dnipro River. This species of sturgeon is listed in Ukraine's Red Book and is considered endangered. They were brought to near extinction for their caviar. The event was timed to coincide with Dnipro River Day
These youngsters were driven hundreds of kilometers from the nursery to settle in the Dnipro River. This is the natural habitat of this rare species – the freshwater sterlet.
“Take a look quickly so as not to torture the creature. This species survived the dinosaurs but did not survive humans. This is an ancient cartilaginous fish, and we must protect it, take care of its natural environment,” the Head of Kyiv Fishing Inspection Volodymyr Mukhin said.
The sterlet was practically exterminated because of its caviar. In addition, their population has declined due to human intervention in the ecosystem and the pollution of water. To revive the river sturgeon in its natural habitat, 10,000 young ones will be released into the Dnipro river.
“It has to adapt, acclimatize. But they have a very good ability to survive, so I hope around 90% of them will settle here successfully,” Mukhin said.
“Take this fish, don’t hold the tail, and throw it over there into the water,” a boy says.
“This restocking is being carried out in order to draw public attention to the environmental problems of Ukrainian water bodies. There are a lot of them. Each of us must be aware of the consequences of human activities,” the Head of the State Fish Management Agency Yaroslav Belov said.
From the opposite bank of the river, an eco-swimming race begins. About 400 amateurs and professionals try to draw attention to the issue of water purity.
All participants of the race receive medals made from recycled plastic.
As a reminder of the dangers of plastic and polyethylene for the environment, art installations were erected on the shore. 30 kilograms of PET bottle caps, which environmentalists gathered near reservoirs, were melted down for the sculpture.
“There is a lot of plastic in the rivers. Sometimes you see the unpleasant sight of garbage washed ashore. But there is, besides the aesthetic element, another, more serious aspect. It is very harmful to nature and to human health,” the Head of the State Agency for Water Resources Iryna Ovcharenko said.
The fish restocking and swimming were dedicated to Dnipro Day. This is an international holiday in honor of one of the largest rivers in Europe. Its basin crosses three countries. 26 cities were built on the shores of Dnipro in Ukraine alone. And this is another factor that alters the river ecosystem.