The Biharugra Fishponds are one of the most valuable bird habitats in Hungary. Biharugra Fishponds comprise a low-lying flood-plain situated between Körösnagyharsány and Mezõgyán in the eastern part of the country. This large system of fish-ponds is managed for conservation, and is surrounded by extensive saline grasslands and arable fields. The Fishponds are regarded as important wetland habitats in Hungary as they support significant proportion of threatened breeding waterbirds and large concentrations of migratory waterfowl.
There is a long-lasting and widespread conflict between conservation and fish-farming in Central and Eastern Europe. Under these economic pressures fish-farmers started to look for alternative uses of their fishponds. Many of these alternatives do not support biodiversity and can be less supportive of biodiversity values than the fish-farming that they replace.
“The Biharugra Fishponds are a positive model showing how the private sector can thrive in partnership with nature conservation. Sustainable fish farming practices are becoming more accepted by fishpond farmers throughout Hungary and we hope it will spread even further across the industry.” - Simay Gábor, Project Manager.
By defining a range of practical, nature-friendly solutions for the local fish farming industry, which detail ways in which to manage the fishpond system at Biharugra, BirdLife Hungary, the Bihar Public Foundation and Agropoint Ltd – with WOW support - created a viable model for fishpond management that promotes cooperation between the private sector and conservationists. The model showed that the fish farming industry can profit from adopting nature-friendly management techniques. This has not only benefited wildlife conservation, but also opened the doors for eco-tourism opportunities, which in turn serves the interests of the local community around Biharugra.
ADDITIONAL PROJECT INFORMATION:
LOCAL IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES:
BIRDLIFE HUNGARY (Magyar Marártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület (MME)
MME is a Hungarian NGO collecting data on the status of birds and their habitats, coordinating the Important Bird Areas Programme for BirdLife International in Hungary.
For more information please see: http://www.mme.hu/
OTHER PROJECT PARTNERS:
Bihar Nature Conservation and Culture Public Foundation [Kállóháti tanya Földes, H-4177 Hungary - [email protected] - Tel:(+36-30) 218-4125]