RMG continuing its environmental projects, bringing pikeperch back to Georgian waters

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Since 2017, RMG has been actively working on the modernisation of the historic enterprise in terms of technological upgrades, labour safety and environmental measures.

The 2018 – 2020 environmental programme by RMG through the intervention of the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture of Georgia, has almost addressed the environmental issues related to productions within the Bolnisi district. These include large-scale water, soil and ambient air protection measures, much of which had already been carried out by the company.

RMG has set the record for several successful projects in regard to protecting the watery environment followed by steps taken towards restoring the biodiversity in regional rivers. The best example of this is the joint project of RMG and Wildlife magazine, which aims to foster the reproduction of pikeperch in Georgian waters.

Pikeperch return to Georgia

The joint project of RMG and Wildlife magazine aims to reproduce one of the most prominent representatives of ichthyofauna in the rivers and lakes of Georgia (Lucioperca – a family of perch).

Since the start of 2019, several scientists, international foundations and foreign experts have been contributing to the project, which has finally made it possible to import the fish from Azerbaijan to Georgia.

After obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, through the assistance of the Ministry of Environment and Agriculture, up to 1,000 small containers of pikeperch were imported on a trial basis, which was handed over to the National Wildlife Agency where Georgian and Azerbaijani scientists will conduct scientific experiments.

In the second stage of the project, in order to ensure the long-term reproduction of pikeperch, the so-called “mother group” was imported, which enables the reproduction of millions of hatchlings in Georgian rivers over the years.

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The mother group had been split in two, one being placed in the lakes of Debeda and the remainder in Lake Admiral in Khashmi.

A presentation of the project was held on the 21st of July on the Mashavera River in Dmanisi Municipality. Representatives of RMG and Wildlife magazine hosted the Minister of Environment and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili, the Governor of Kvemo Kartli Shota Rekhviashvili, Member of Parliament Gogi Meshveliani,as well as localattendees.

Guests of the event met on the river where pikeperch were symbolically released into the Mashavera River.

A few weeks earlier, the event was preceded by the trial launch of hundreds of thousands of pikeperch hatchlings into the rivers of Eastern Georgia. Among them is the Mashavera River, where all the conditions for biodiversity have been created through the efforts taken within the framework of the initiated programme.

About pikeperch

In Georgia, where rivers and lakes lack a diversity of predators, pikeperchwere one of the most prominent representatives of ichthyofauna. In the past century, fishing was common in both western and eastern parts of Georgia.

The scientists consider the alteration of the Paliastomi Lake to have been the first threat to the populations of pikeperch, while the constructions of Mingechauri and Shamkori hydropower plants by Azerbaijan are said to have caused their extinction in the east.

The nature of the threat was anthropogenic, yet pikeperch would have remained in reduced population numbers were it not for “electroshock fishing”by poachers, following which the species were completely extinguished from Georgian rivers.

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Over the past two decades, there have been numerous attempts by various fishing clubs and groups to bring the species in for breeding, however all of them have been in vain. On 21July, 2020, through the project of RMG and Wildlife magazine, pikeperch – prominent representative of ichthyofauna – will finally return to the waters of Georgia after a period of several decades.

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