North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society meets at VIU

July 11, 2011 - 3:15am

Vancouver Island University’s International Centre for Sturgeon Studies is hosting the North American Chapter of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society (WSCS) from July 11-14.

More than 100 sturgeon researchers, biologists, managers and enthusiasts from across North America and from as far away as Russia, China and Iran will be attending the four-day event.

One of the primary functions of the event is to facilitate communications among a growing network of sturgeon and paddlefish people in Canada and the US.

Speakers will present on a diversity of topics including sturgeon and paddlefish conservation, restoration, reproduction, tracking and aquaculture production. Student presenters will compete for a best presentation award.

Dr. Harald Rosenthal, President of the World Sturgeon Conservation Society, and founding supporter for the development of the ICSS at VIU, will be in attendance.

Many species of sturgeon found in North America, including the white sturgeon native to BC, are endangered or at risk. A special session on sturgeon recovery and restoration will be held during the four-day meeting.

The International Centre for Sturgeon Studies was created to become the knowledge and innovation hub for sturgeon conservation, restoration and aquaculture related applied research activities in BC.

Through the provision of sturgeon eggs and juveniles, VIU has supported BC’s first sturgeon aquaculture operation – Target Marine Hatcheries, which produced its first batch of caviar this spring. Justin Henry, GM of Target was quoted that the market price for caviar is about $3000 per kilogram, which is an average of $16,000 per fish.

“Hosting the WSCS North American Chapter 4th Annual meeting is a great opportunity for VIU as we seek to establish an international research network,” states Don Tillapaugh, Director of the International Centre for Sturgeon Studies. “It is also a great preparatory and learning opportunity as VIU and the City of Nanaimo will be hosting the 7th International Symposium on Sturgeon in July 2013 with an anticipated 600 international delegates.”

Note: The VIU ICSS has partnered with the Nanaimo Art Gallery to display sturgeon artwork at the downtown location for three weeks beginning July 8.

WSCS conference program:

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