The Gesellschaft zur Rettung des Störs e.V.

The Gesellschaft zur Rettung des Störs e.V. is a non-profit association dedicated to the conservation and reintroduction of sturgeon species formerly native to Germany. The focus of the work is on the waters of the North Sea and Baltic Sea catchment areas. With the planned measures the society wants to make a contribution to the promotion of nature and environment as well as to the improvement of river ecosystems.

Logo der Gesellschaft zur Rettung des Störs.

The work of GRS covers various topics:

  •     Securing and protecting the remaining stocks of sturgeons in the North Sea (Acipenser sturio) and Baltic Sea catchment area (Acipenser oxyrinchus).
  •     The development of parent livestock for controlled reproduction to conserve the species.
  •     The preparation and implementation of reintroduction measures in their original distribution areas.

In order to achieve these goals, it is essential to coordinate all German activities for the conservation of the sturgeon with European measures. Only in this way society can make a contribution to the promotion of nature and the environment and to the improvement of river ecosystems. Close cooperation with the national authorities is also indispensable here. For example, the BMU has promoted the protection of sturgeons internationally by listing them under the Washington Convention (CITES) and the Convention of Migratory Species (CMS). The preparation of the action plan for the European sturgeon was only possible at the Berne Convention and at national level with the support of the BMU/BfN.

The long-term objective of the work is the establishment of self-sustaining populations of native sturgeons in the North Sea and Baltic Sea tributaries, for which close and trusting cooperation with all actors involved is indispensable. In the long term, a sustainable fishery use of the stocks could be developed on this basis.


Since 1992 there have been increased regional efforts to develop projects to reintroduce the sturgeon into German waters. Interested scientists and institutions from different regions wanted to use the improved framework conditions resulting from reunification to initiate an ambitious project for the sturgeon. Initial successes in the salmon programmes showed that it was possible to tackle even difficult problems with appropriate integrated programmes.

In the preparatory talks and working meetings, it quickly became clear that this ambitious project could only be mastered through a coordinated approach. For this purpose, it was decided in 1993 to create a common platform and representation of interests. On 1st July 1994 the Gesellschaft zur Rettung des Störs (Acipenser sturio) e.V. was founded for this purpose at the Senckenberg Institute in Frankfurt/Main.

Among the founding members were Eckhard Anders, Gerd-Michael Arndt, Lutz Debus, Jörn Geßner, Dietmar Firzlaff, Martin Hochleithner, Frank Kirschbaum, Toni Lelek, Harald Rosenthal, Jörg Schneider and Siegfried Spratte.


The Society for the Rescue of Sturgeons sees itself primarily as an association of individuals and institutions who actively cooperate in the reintroduction of sturgeons and related issues. The society serves as a platform for the exchange of information and for the planning and implementation of projects and public relations. The members of the society include representatives of research institutions, companies and administrations as well as fishery associations and anglers interested in nature conservation.

Share page