Press Releases

    For information only - not an official document

    UNIS/OUS/212
    1 Octoberber 2013

    Re-issued as received

    Joint Danube Survey 3:River expedition completes sampling

    The international team of scientists of the "Joint Danube Survey" river expedition have completed their sampling. Now a period of intensive data analysis follows as part of the biggest river expedition worldwide in 2013.

    TULCEA/VIENNA, 1 October 2013 (International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River) - The Joint Danube Survey 3 (JDS3) has completed the sampling period with a celebratory closing event in Tulcea, Romania. For the weeks and months to come, scientists will now analyse the samples of water and other data that was collected from three research vessels. Analyses will now look at animals and plants; chemical substances and sediment, larger fish as well as microscopic bacteria. Laboratories across Europe will carry out parts of these analyses, with complete results due to be published next autumn. The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) coordinates the project.

    "The Joint Danube Survey has drawn time, money and know-how from 14 Danube countries. It demonstrates how cooperation in water management can be an added value to every party involved", says ICPDR President Ermina Salkicevic-Dizdarevic. "A large-scale project such as JDS3 could not have been undertaken by any single Danube country alone. United, however, the ICPDR members undertook this river expedition and made it an outstanding success."

    This success was also reflected in public events: in nine cities along the Danube, press conferences and outreach activities were organized, resulting in wide-spread media attention and enthusiastic crowds welcoming the JDS3 ships at the Danube river banks from Regensburg in Germany to the Danube Delta. This interest helps the ICPDR to promote the scientific objectives of the JDS3 among a broader audience, as well as specialists such as researchers working in the field of freshwater ecology. Most importantly, however, the findings will feed directly into the so-called "Danube River Basin Management Plan", a work schedule which addresses environmental problems related to water.

    "JDS3 will contribute data to many scientific publications that we expect for the coming months", says Ivan Zavadsky, ICPDR Executive Secretary. "For us, however, the policy side is equally important. JDS3 is essential for putting the management plan for the Danube River Basin on a sound scientific foundation." This management plan is developed by experts from all ICPDR members until 2015 and will be implemented over a period of six years thereafter.  

    The research of the Joint Danube Survey is conducted by an international team of 28 scientists, who took samples along 2,376 kilometres through 10 countries. Now the samples are being analysed. The JDS is carried out every six years - JDS1 was in 2001 and JDS2 in 2007. Corporate partners , such as Coca-Cola and Donauchemie, support the effort.

    For further information visit www.danubesurvey.org

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    For more information please contact:

    Benedikt Mandl
    ICPDR Secretariat
    Telephone: (+43-1) 26060-4373
    Email: benedikt.mandl[at]unvienna.org
    Web site: www.danubesurvey.org

    Background Information

    JDS3: What is tested and how?

    Two ships have led the expedition. Serbia´s Argus, the main laboratory ship during both previous surveys, was recently refurbished and includes instruments such as a centrifuge, sieving machine, microscope, incubators and refrigerators. Romania's Istros is a coastal and river research ship with six cabins, a lab and dining room. In addition, two Austrian vessels, the Wien and Meßschiff IV, were used for fish sampling. A total of 68 sites were sampled, with one or two sites daily on average. All sample containers were prepared, labelled and pre-packed before the survey. It took about four hours to take samples at each sampling site. Many samples were tested on-board the ships, while others were shipped to participating laboratories throughout Europe.

    Sampling at JDS3 stations included up to five different sample types - water, sediment, biology, suspended particulate matter (SPM) and biota (fish). The experts have conducted numerous tests, looking for animals and plants, from larger shellfish to microscopic bacteria, and chemical and hazardous substances. They monitored physico-chemical parameters such as temperature, dissolved oxygen and pH, as well as radioactive contaminants. The study of hydromorphological characteristics included activities such as sediment testing, creating inventories of harbours, sand bars and gravel banks, and measuring water velocity.  Thirty-two sites were chosen for monitoring fish.

    About the Danube River Basin

    The Danube River Basin is Europe's second largest river basin, with a total area of 801,463 km². It is the world's most international river basin as it includes the territories of 19 countries: Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine, with catchment areas larger than 2,000 km²; and Switzerland, Italy, Poland, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Albania with smaller areas. The Danube River Basin is home to 81 million people with a wide range of cultures, languages and historical backgrounds.

    About ICPDR

    The International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) is an International Organisation consisting of 14 cooperating states and the European Union. The ICPDR deals not only with the Danube itself, but also with the whole Danube River Basin, which includes its tributaries and the ground water resources. The ultimate goal of the ICPDR is to implement the Danube River Protection Convention (DRPC) and make it a living tool. Its ambitious mission is to promote and coordinate sustainable and equitable water management, including conservation, improvement and rational use of waters for the benefit of the Danube River Basin countries and their people. The ICPDR pursues its mission by making recommendations for the improvement of water quality, developing mechanisms for flood and accident control, agreeing standards for emissions and by assuring that these are reflected in the Contracting Parties' national legislations and applied in their policies.

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