Conservation vital to world’s sturgeon

NANAIMO – An international conference in Nanaimo looks at health of world sturgeon population.

Rick Hansen welcomed the world to Nanaimo for the seventh International Symposium on Sturgeon taking place in Nanaimo this week (July 22-25).

He congratulated VIU and the City of Nanaimo for their leadership in bringing the world together to share their knowledge about sturgeon.

Hansen is honorary chairman of the conference and founding chairman of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society. Under his leadership, the society develops and promotes education, public awareness initiatives, award-winning research programs and recovery plans for the Fraser River white sturgeon population.

“As part of a collaborative team, the FRSCS has spent more than a decade investigating issues that affect the recovery of Fraser River white sturgeon,” said Hansen. “This symposium will make a difference – it represents the next step in attaining world awareness of preserving vibrant, diverse, ecosystems and developing a healthy planet.”

Harald Rosenthal, president of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society, said, “Rick’s work in public engagement is one of the few examples we have that vividly demonstrates what public participation can achieve in species conservation. The public worldwide needs to hear about these living dinosaurs which may face a dire future without the much-needed conservation efforts promoted by FRSCS and its leader.”

Hansen, Rosenthal and VIU president Ralph Nilson, welcomed more than 200 delegates from 35 countries to the conference at the opening reception in Nanaimo on Sunday. The four-day symposium will set the stage for global sturgeon research and conservation efforts.

During the conference in Nanaimo, researchers and world sturgeon experts are examining topics critical to sturgeon and providing the most up-to-date reports on the progress of conservation and restoration efforts worldwide.

For more information, please visit http://iss7.viu.ca.