Restocking Dnipro River
Spear fishers released a ton of fish into the Dnipro River. They say that the fish population has declined so much in recent years, that only initiatives like these can solve the problem.
A fishfarm truck pulls up to the banks of the Dnipro. Inside there is a huge tank of juvenile fish. Carp, Chinese carp and silver carp. One ton, or around 20 thousand fish. And they will all be released into the river.
“The fish are currently growing, so they feed actively. This is why they will eat the blue-green algae and other vegetation in the Dnipro, clearing the river,” event organizer Valentyn Levshyn said.
This event is being held for the fourth year in a row by spearfishers. Spearfisher Oleksandr Hromadsky took up spearfishing several years ago. Over this time he noticed that the water had changed in the Dnipro. It became much murkier.
“It’s November. The water isn’t at the level of clarity that it should be right now. Let’s say 5 years ago, not 15 or 20, but in November, 5 years ago, the visibility was 2 or 2.5 meters. Now it’s less than a meter,” said Oleksandr.
River fish are a natural water filter. In order to increase their numbers, fishers started a crowd-funding campaign on social networks. So far they have collected $2,000 and used it to buy baby fish.
The fish are released from a special fishtank through a 10 meter sleeve into the Dnipro river. In a few minutes time, all of the small fry are in the water.
“This consumer approach to water is wrong. With the help of these events, we are trying to raise awareness,” said Oleksandr Mamrych, a spearfisher .
“This is sturgeon. It is on the endangered list,” mentioned Levshyn.
Sturgeon only 10cm long are released into the Dnipro. Valentyn Levshyn was growing two dozen of them at home. They weigh just a few grams.
“The nets are big, but this fish is small. We have taken fish of this size so they can pass through the nets,” said Dnipro resident, Yelisei Tkachenko.
The fish released are native to the Dnipro, so they have a good chance of surviving and will start clearing the water right away.