in partnership with


The race against time

of Alex Găvan and his team to save the Asprete, the rarest fish in Europe

and probably in the whole world, is ongoing.

Fagăraș Mountains and the Valley of Vâlsan river, land of the legendary and elusive Asprete

Alex Găvan, Sebastian Mastahac, Andrei Togor, Marcus Drimbea | Alex Găvan Foundation

About the Asprete - Romanichthys valsanicola

First ever footage of the Asprete in the wild

Play Video about Asprete Valsan Andrei Togor Marcus Drimbea Fundatia Alex Gavan 2
The Asprete

Andrei Togor, Marcus Drimbea | Alex Găvan Foundation

A living fossil by some estimates aged over 65 million years,

the Asprete might have been contemporary with the last of the dinosaurs to have walked on this earth.

Right now, there are only between 10 to 15 of its kind remaining, according to the last official estimates of the Ministry of Environment

About The River

To date, the asprete's habitat has shrunk

to a time capsule of only around 5 km along the river of Vâlsan, in the Transylvanian Alps of Romania – the Făgăraș Mountains. The river has its source under Moldoveanu – 2544m, the highest peak in the country.

When in 1956, the Asprete was discovered by Nicolae Stoica, a student of biology, he was still roaming the waters of two other rivers, Argeș and Doamnei. He is now completely extinct out of those two.

The whole area where Asprete lives or used to live is under two forms of legal protection: a Nature 2000 site – ROSCI0268 Valea Vâlsanului and Valea Vâlsanului Nature Reserve – code 2125.

Vâlsan river in its mountain sector

Silviu Matei | Alex Găvan Foundation

Home of the Asprete - Argeș County, Romania

Nature 2000 site ROSCI0122 Făgăraș Mountains

Vâlsan Valey Natural Reserve - code 2125

Nature 2000 site ROSCI0268 Vâlsan Valey

A leading Romanian high altitude climber and noted conservationist, Alex Găvan is a local of the Vâlsan Valley. He spent his childhood on the river's banks, grew up with Asprete stories, and learned how to swim by himself in the very same Asprete waters.

Vâlsan river at Brăduleț, near Coasta Morii, typical habitat for Asprete

Alex Găvan

The planet does not need salvation.

We DO.

"My beloved,
we are at the steering wheel of the most boundless and priceless of the ships possible:
Our Life.
Let’s make it count."

Alex Găvan