Collecting in the southern Caspian Sea

Iran – Caspian Sea, May 2011

Heiko Bleher was invited to do research and a workshop with fishes in the southern Caspian Sea, in the region of Lahijan, while he gave seminars at the Islamic Azad University, Lahijan, also in May 2011. During a single day’s time from the Dr. Keyvan’s Research Center for Fisheries Science and Marine Technologies he departed into the Caspian Sea. Some photos below:

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They had printed very large posters for the workshop with Heiko’s picture and invited many of their fisheries students. Everyone had to put on a live vest (not Heiko) and Heiko departed first with all the Professors and directors from the University. The rest of the group followed on two separate boats. 

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The boats carried everyone down river along some very modern residence areas used mainly for summer vacation, and also some few remains of the original southern Caspian Sea houses on stilts covered by reed. Many areas are still in its natural state and condition, the many birds (white herons) demonstrated that there must be fishes ..

 

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… finally reaching the southern end of the Caspian Sea, there were fishermen in boats, and plenty of gill nets along the shore (top). The only submerse plants were Potamogeton crispus. And from the boat collected then the first goby. Afterwards Heiko together with Saeed Asadi – the only one who wanted to enter 14°C cold water – went to seine areas Heiko thought would be an good and undisturbed habitat. It was very tough to seine, but the net from this one single habitat showed that 8 different species dwell here over the sandy ground covered with millions of empty shells. Finally the boat waiting, with al, the people got stuck and no one of the Fisheries people wanted to get out to bring it back into the deep, but Heiko, Saeed and two fishermen helped and with a jeep we got back into the water …

 

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Saeed Asadi, who had invited Heiko to Shiraz for the 2nd International seminar of Ornamental Fishes, did jump into the cold Caspian Sea afterwards with Heiko’s shorts and all his money …

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These are the species living together in one single habitat, details of identification of the species and variants follows.

At of the workshop and collecting research work, Heiko received as a present a preserved and well prepared specimen of the endemic sturgeon of the southern Caspian Sea, which is at the brink of extinction.

This post is also available in: Italian

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