Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Atlantic Sturgeon Officially Endangered

Although fishing for the Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhychus) has been banned for a decade, the federal government formally acted on a petition from the National Resource Defense Council and declared the prehistoric-looking fish endangered last Tuesday, January 31, 2012.

The fish have been scooped up in commercial gill nets harvesting other species along the East coast and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's fisheries service is hoping to decision will reduce that bycatch. Each year, a few dozen Atlantic sturgeon have shown up in Chesapeake Bay fishermen's nets. So if you catch one by mistake,just toss it right back in.

Read more here and here.


Niko said...

huh...were people eating these in the past? Or just letting them die in their nets?

Deborah said...

Hey! I don't think it was fishing that mainly caused population decline but rather the state of the bay... algae blooms blocking sunlight to aquatic vegetation and food chain etc. There is lots of research being done at UMD. Including a webcam: