Norway Grants (85%) and Romanian Ministry of Environment (15%): “Beluga Sturgeon Community based Tourism” (BESTCOMBAT), 2009-2011

(KnRin/ – 2008/112231) Budget: 1 260 000 Euro.

Project leader: Radu Suciu / INCDDD Tulcea

Partners:, NIVA Oslo, NTNU Trondheim, Kaviar House Ltd. Isaccea

Project description:

The Best Combat project combined biology, sociology and tourism with the aim of conserving Danube beluga sturgeon by supporting and educating local communities to develop new livelihoods (with a focus on community based tourism) as an alternative to the unsustainable fishing of the endangered beluga. In 2009 Best Combat scientists conducted the world’s first satellite tagging of Beluga sturgeon. Five male fish were released with tags and their individual journeys into the Black Sea recorded. Harald from Stelnica, Romania, where he was released, along the Danube and onto the northwest shelf of the Black Sea. After 5 months at sea his tag started transmitting prematurely and reveal Harald`s travel route in the Northern Black Sea.

The Caviar Road aims to lead tourists on the journey of the beluga, along the Danube through the Romanian countryside, to the mouth of the Black Sea. Points of interest include; visiting a sturgeon hatchery, where you can see and touch these fascinating fish; Enjoying a stopover at Sfântu Gheorghe a traditional sturgeon fisherman’s village in the heart of the Danube delta and; Viewing the Roman forts of Carsium and Noviodunum whose fallen ruins in the Danube are now used by sturgeon for spawning.