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'BIOS' (part of the Volga-Caspian branch of VNIRO) is the only enterprise in the Russian Federation with the status of a breeding plant for sturgeon b

Scientists and fish farmers are working to preserve sturgeon biodiversity

  (RUSSIAN FEDERATION, 5/10/2024)

Releases of juvenile beluga, the largest and most difficult species to reproduce, have begun

Specialists from the scientific and experimental aquaculture complex “BIOS” released juvenile beluga into the Bakhtemir River, the main branch and main continuation of the Volga in the Volga delta (Astrakhan region).

This is the first release in 2024 - stocking took place as part of the state task for growing sturgeon species.

"BIOS" (part of the Volga-Caspian branch of VNIRO) is the only enterprise in the Russian Federation with the status of a breeding plant for sturgeon breeding.

Beluga is the largest and most difficult sturgeon species to reproduce. This is a long-lived fish, reaching an age of 100 years; previously, individuals weighing more than 1.5 tons and more than 4 meters in length were found.

The reproduction cycle of this fish is slow, males are ready for their first offspring at 12-18 years of age, females at 16-27 years (mostly 22-27 years), it depends on the habitat and population.

According to historical information, the largest fish that were caught in different regions of the Volga-Caspian Sea contained from 146 to 246 kg of caviar. Beluga caviar is considered the most valuable among all other sturgeon caviar. In this regard, the fishing pressure on beluga was very strong, and taking into account the reproduction cycle and other anthropogenic factors, the stock began to fall.

Nowadays it is difficult to find fish in the natural environment. Its fishing is prohibited everywhere; the beluga is listed in the Red Book of Russia and the IUCN as a species on the verge of extinction.

Despite the difficulties, Rosrybolovstvo, its subordinate institutions VNIRO and Glavrybvod are making efforts to preserve this rare fish. Releases of beluga are carried out annually as part of state assignments; in addition, this species is included in the list of priority release objects for compensation measures that industrial, construction, and energy enterprises are required to carry out to compensate for damage to nature from their activities.

Source: Federal Agency for Fisheries (Rosrybolovstvo) | Translated from original in Russian

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