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Hydro project endangers Danube salmon’s habitat

Published

November 27, 2015

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Published:

November 27, 2015

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Kelag, an Austrian–German energy company, is building hydropower station Medna, endangering a globally threatened fish species, non-governmental organizations and scientists said. The investor is about to destroy one of the most important river sections for the endangered Danube salmon or huchen (Hucho hucho) in Europe, according to a joint press release by Riverwatch, EuroNatur, Center for Environment and the Coalition for the Protection of Sana, the river located in the northwest of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

At a press conference in Banja Luka, organized in the context of the international campaign ‘Save the Blue Heart of Europe’, environmentalists said the upper reach of Sana is the site of construction, with further dams planned for downstream. Scientists said this is one of the six most important rivers for the globally threatened fish species. “Together with only a few other rivers, the Sana provides the backbone of the remaining huchen population in Europe. These rivers must remain unobstructed by hydropower plants,” says Belma Kalamujić from Sarajevo University.

People from all over the world are visiting to fish for trouts, graylings, and above all the huchen, in unspoiled nature, so residents can profit from tourism without destroying the landscape, says Nataša Crnković from the Center for Environment.

People from all over the world are visiting to fish for trouts, graylings, and above all the huchen, in unspoiled nature, so residents can profit from tourism without destroying the landscape, says Nataša Crnković from the Center for Environment. Millions are spent to regenerate rare huchen populations in the European Union, and especially Austria, the scientists said.

Even the Verbund group, co-owner of Kelag, is financing a river restoration project on the Traisen in Lower Austria with EUR 6 million, in order to regenerate the population of huchen, the activists said, adding all efforts are co-funded by the EU’s Life Projects.

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