The overall objective of this LIFE project is to help save the four remaining Danube sturgeon species from extinction: the Sterlet, the Waxdick, the Sternhausen and the Hausen.
Sturgeons are one of the most endangered animal groups worldwide. Two species are already extinct on the Danube and urgent action is also needed to ensure the survival of the remaining four species.

In the LIFE Boat 4 Sturgeon project, suitable parent fish adapted to the Danube are selected. Over the project period, about 1.6 million sturgeon are to be bred and the young fish released into the wild in the Danube basin. In cooperation with fisheries authorities, measures to combat poaching are also planned. Standardised sturgeon monitoring is being developed across the Danube. Public relations measures are to contribute to raising awareness.

viadonau builds an ark

The LIFE Boat that gives the title to the project is viadonau's MS Negrelli. The vessel is being converted into a floating fish breeding station for the ambitious project. Our flagship was once used for river regulation and then served as an exhibition vessel. The LIFE Boat will be stationed on the Danube Island in Vienna.
Mother fish are also kept in Hungary, and fish breeding also takes place on the Slovenian Mur.

The LIFE Boat 4 Sturgeon project builds on the experience of the successfully completed "LIFE Sterlet" project, which has already bred and released 239,000 young sterlets.

Our partnership to save the Danube sturgeon

The project is financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management (BML). Additional co-financing for LIFE Boat 4 Sturgeon is provided by Austria's fisheries: Upper Austrian Fisheries Association (OÖLVF), Lower Austrian Fisheries Association (NÖLFV), Vienna Fisheries Committee, Austrian Fisheries Society (Österreichische Fischereigesellschaft gegr.1880) and others.

Key data on the project

  • Long title: LIFE Boat to rescue four Danube sturgeon species from extinction
  • Project code: Project 101074146 - LIFE21-NAT-AT-LIFE Boat 4 Sturgeon - LIFE-2021-SAP-NAT
  • Project volume: around 11.8 million EUR
  • Co-financing: 67% EU LIFE funding programme
  • Duration: 2022-2029
  • Projekwebsite "LIFE Boat 4 Sturgeons"