Fish World | Russian sturgeon - Acipenser gueldenstaedtii | The Russian sturgeon (Acipenser gueldenstaedtii) is a species of fish in the Acipenseridae family. It is located in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Ukraine. This fish can reach up to six meters and weighing nearly 250 pounds. Russian sturgeon can mature and reproduce quickly, making them highly vulnerable to fishing.
The Russian sturgeon is a large bony fish that can reach a length of more than 6 feet. He lives in salt water and moves upstream to spawn, which makes it vulnerable to habitat loss on many fronts, including hydroelectric dams that create barriers to spawning grounds, pollution in both homes in fresh and salt water, and being heavily exploited for its meat and eggs, which are used to make caviar.
The Russian sturgeon can reach a very large fish, measuring more than 6 feet (2 meters) long with a weight of more than 250 pounds (113 kg). It is black in a white color, the body is black while the dorsal fins and belly are white. It usually feeds on small fish and shellfish. It is a shallow-dwelling fish, rarely drop below 98 feet (30 meters) deep. It is mostly seen alone, groups of fish are usually seen during spawning, which is in May and June The fish is very slow to mature and can live for nearly 50 years. This slow maturity makes them particularly vulnerable to overfishing.
In the past, Russin were prized sturgeon fish, both commercially and for sport. The massive size of the fish has a target of popular games, while caviar is a very interesting product for commercial fishermen. Since 1996, the fish was listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Currently, fish are classified as "critically endangered", which is one step above being classified as extinct in the wild.
Efforts to limit fishing for Russian sturgeon have not been entirely successful. Although there are laws in many countries to limit or completely restrict fishing of the animal, they are routinely ignored by local fishermen. Fishing is not the only reason for the decline of fish population mass. A major contributor to its level down is the construction of the dam. Dams built around the Caspian basin since the 1950s have eliminated more than 70 precent of spawning fish, making it difficult for fish to reproduce. Water pollution from oil and industrial waste is killing fish in mass number. It is estimated that tens of thousands of Russian sturegon, if not more, were killed as a direct result of water pollution.
Efforts have been made to reproduce the Russian sturgeon in captivity and release of fish life in the wild, but they were not very successful. In the 1990s, millions of fry were dumped into the river Volga and the Sea of Azov, in an effort to restore populations of Russian sturgeon, no great success. According to IUCN of a single natural population of fish is still in the wild, and it is highly overused.