Hotline: +43 1 47654 81200 Email:

Information about the locations can be found here.

Registration- and information desks will be available throughout the conference at the venue.
Please note that the opening ceremony will take place in lecture hall HS XX, Muthgasse 18 (Armin Szilvinyi Haus), 1190 Vienna.. A transfer to the conference venue is organized.
Social events and excursions have to be selected separately with your ISS8 registration.
Excursion 1: LIFE-Sterlet
Excursion 2: Large scale river restoration
Excursion 3: Aquaculture Vodnany

sturgeon head

General Information

ISS8 intends to increase the interaction between the presenters and the auditorium. For a variety of topics the format of the conference program therefore expands beyond classical presentations. We provide room for topic specific discussions following the presentations. The main aim is to facilitate and stimulate the discussion beyond cultural boundaries to increase the understanding of motivations and to expand on the applicability of new results under regional specific conditions. As such the 30 minute slots at the end of the respective sessions are a mixture between discussion fora and conventional presentation sessions, allowing the auditorium to address the speakers with comments and questions beyond the common frame. To focus the discussions, the sessions will be organized as closely related with regard to the contents.

General Ecology

The sessions on general ecology will range from fundamental research and new findings on nutrition, early life stages and reproductive physiology, both linked to wild habitat and production in aquaculture to more specialized topics like the identification and traceability of species in trade. This crosslink of different aspects will offer valuable insights for both scientists and aquaculture enterprises as well as companies, agencies, NGO`s etc. involved in sturgeon trade and its control.

Status & Management of Populations

Status and management of populations deals will all aspects of conservation and restoration of sturgeon stocks. This includes the assessment of habitats, population status, fisheries and management, genetics, strategies for in-situ and ex-situ conservation and general restoration ecology. To topics we intend to focus especially, also as they are directly crosslinked to aquaculture and may have a lot of opportunities with regard to cooperations are the rearing of juveniles with regard to fitness for release as well as the management of broodstock.

Juvenile rearing – fitness for release

Stocking is a major management tool used as a support measure to maintain commercial fisheries, for the support of straddling stocks, and even for the reestablishment of populations following extirpation.  This session is addressing all the programs that see the need to stock to maintain or re-establish endangered or overexploited populations. It focuses on the role of handling practices in juvenile rearing and ongrowing in hatcheries. Addressing the questions on: How to assess fitness in fish to be released? What triggers fitness (near natural environment vs key variables that trigger adaptability)? When does the impact of rearing conditions set in? Which role does feed play in generating fitness? What alternatives are available for the common hatchery practice? What are the effects of the stocking measures? Reports on experiences with stocking programs are welcomed as a starter for subsequent discussions.

Broodstock management

In a variety of species ex situ measures are the only means to maintain rare species or populations. The target to restock juveniles from such ex situ stocks requires sound management of the reproductions, trying to maintain diverse and adaptable offspring with as high heterogeneity as permitted by the parental stocks. Thus the challenge of such programs lies in maintaining the local adaptations that have enabled the species to utilize the diverse habitats in the past. Based upon practical examples different methods of broodstock management and reproduction planning are discussed and open questions are to be identified.


The sessions on aquaculture will range over all production stages, starting from broodstock management to reproduction techniques, rearing and processing. A special focus, linked to the workshops will also lie on the processing and marketing of caviar, as well as sturgeon meat and byproducts. Side aspects, such as fish diseases, nutrition and other issues related to aquaculture will also be present in the program.

Human Impacts

In these sessions the interaction between sturgeon stocks and the human population, will be addressed. This will include the heritage and cultural role of sturgeons, fisheries in the past and reach into the present with ongoing fisheries, habitat degradation, adverse impacts, blocking of migration routes, but also aiming to develop and provide solutions as for example in habitat restoration or the facilitation of large fish migration.

Facilitation of large fish migration

Hydropower development as well as flood control and water abstraction has largely altered the dynamics and connectivity of large river systems, restricting and isolating populations of sturgeons and other fish and invertebrate species worldwide. While legal instruments require the facilitation of connectivity, the practical application stays behind partly due to a lack of financial support, partly due to technological difficulties and partly due to the unwillingness of responsible authorities. In this context, this discussion forum is to provide information on and enhance the discussion about the facilitation of connectivity amongst waterbodies for sturgeon (and other fish) both for upstream and downstream movement. Besides the requirements for the facilitation of migration also the limitations of migration facilitation are of major importance: While connectivity for biota as well as for sediment is generally considered beneficial for the ecology of a river network, also restrictions have to be considered in the effectuation of passage. Open questions include: Is connectivity in itself sufficient to overcome the effects of hydroconstructions? Does increased habitat availability after migration facilitation increase the Allee Effect in small populations? Is the temporal aspect of migration obstacles (long disruption of migration might have led to the extirpation of (sub-) populations eliminating the need for connectivity) a sufficient cause to object connectivity? Does the purpose to restrict invasions justify the continuous migration disruption?

© 2015 BOKU/IHG - Thomas Friedrich, Martin Seebacher.  © ISS8 logo by Astrid Schmidt-Kloiber 

© All rights reserved | Contact | Imprint