On 26 September 2020, in celebration of the anniversary of founding of the Gizilaghaj National Park, IDEA together with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources and State Tourism Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan participated at the fish stocking event in Gizilaghaj.
During the event held as part of a joint project “Abundant Basins” by IDEA and the Ministry of Ecology, various species of carp juveniles were released into Caspian’s Lesser Gizilaghaj Bay.
In recent decades, natural populations of fish species have come to the brink of extinction as a result of human activities. In this regard, under the guidance of Ms. Leyla Aliyeva, a number of crucial initiatives are being implemented in order to protect and restore the aquatic fauna of Azerbaijan and the Caucasus region.
The project aims to replenish natural fish populations in rivers and lakes of the country through releasing fingerlings of various fish species grown by public and private fish farms into the natural environment, as well as to reduce water pollution and promote sustainable fishing to ultimately restore the marine environment of the Caspian.
It is worth noting that established on 26 September 2018, the Gizilaghaj National Park, which covers the whole Gizilaghaj Bay, is known as the first marine protected area in the Caspian region.
A paramount moment was that in 2019, at the initiative of IDEA and Blue Marine Foundation, the Gizilaghaj National Park, distinct for its unique biodiversity, has been recognized as a Hope Spot designated for protection under a global ocean campaign called Mission Blue.
Nominated for protection, Hope Spots are special places that are critical to the health of the ocean and marine life. They are about recognizing, empowering and supporting individuals and communities around the world in their efforts to restore habitats and protect important marine areas. The water area of the Ghizilagaj National Park - the first MPA in the Caspian Sea - plays a critical role in preservation of some of the most endangered species of fish on the planet.
IDEA and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources encourage citizens to support efforts aimed at conserving marine life, combatting illegal fishing and promoting sustainable fishing.