AUA Acopian Center for the Environment Reintroduces Brown Trout in Tavush Marz River
TAVUSH, Armenia – On July 19, 2014, the American University of Armenia (AUA) Acopian Center for the Environment (AUA ACE) piloted a reintroduction of the brown trout in Armenia’s rivers. The AUA Acopian Center team of experts, staff, and volunteers released more than 2,000 fingerlings (young fish), 4-5 months old, into a river passing by a rural community in the Tavush Marz.
Spearheading the reintroduction were AUA Acopian Center’s Dr. Karen Aghababyan, chief scientist, and Dr. Gurgen Khanamirian, researcher, who will also monitor the reintroduced population for its survival and adaptation success. “In four years, the reintroduced fish will reach reproductive maturity. By then we will know if we have a good base for a stable population,” says Dr. Aghababyan.
The reintroduction was done under a permit received from the Republic of Armenia’s Ministry of Nature Protection. The pilot release site was selected based on extensive water quality tests and the readiness of the close-by community to steward the reintroduced fish population as a community asset.
The pilot was based on findings from a two-year study of Armenia’s rivers conducted by Dr. Aghababyan and Dr. Khanamirian under a grant from GIZ (the German Organization for International Cooperation).
The AUA Acopian Center for the Environment (AUA ACE) is a research center of the American University of Armenia. AUA ACE promotes the protection and restoration of the natural environment through research, education, and community outreach. AUA ACE’s focus areas include sustainable natural resource management, biodiversity and conservation, greening the built environment, clean energy and energy efficiency, as well as information technology and the environment.