The beluga sturgeon is the largest freshwater fish in the world. It lives in both freshwater and saltwater. The beluga sturgeon is mostly found in the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. It reaches lengths of up to 24 feet and weights of 3500 pounds.
The high value of the beluga sturgeon
There are a few fish species that show evolution on their bodies. The beluga sturgeon is one of them as it has many bones and a hard exterior. Many believe the fish looks like a dinosaur and it’s the reason why the fish even looks terrifying for some humans.
In some situations, the fish offers a glimpse into its predatory lifestyle as you can guess it eats smaller fish easily. This fish also has a few predators. It’s humans that are the biggest threat to the beluga sturgeon.
The beluga sturgeon caviar
As the biggest freshwater fish, the beluga sturgeon is also known for the high amounts of caviar it produces. This caviar mostly comes from beluga sturgeon fisheries around the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea. Large rivers in this region are also excellent hubs for beluga sturgeon fisheries.
It is estimated that a pound of beluga sturgeon caviar costs $3.500. This high value makes it one of the most endangered fish species in the world, particularly with illegal fishing. But the fish also produces large amounts of caviar compared to any other fish species in the world.
Beluga sturgeon is endangered
All fish species have conservation status. The beluga sturgeon is considered critically endangered. It’s rarely fished as fish for restaurants (even if this is possible). But the fish is sought for its caviar, which is the main reason over-fishing has it nearly extinct in areas where it used to be found in its thousands.
Many people used to blame sharks and other predators for the extinction of this fish. But there are no sharks in the Black Sea which tell the story of the human impact on fishing, particularly on the beluga sturgeon.
The biggest extinction problem for this fish is when it swims up-water to reproduce. Just like the salmon, the beluga sturgeon don’t reproduce where it lives. It tends to find more relaxed areas free from predators to lay eggs.
However, this means the beluga sturgeon swims up-rivers to reproduce. It’s here that illegal fishing is much easier than in open sea waters. It’s illegal to catch the beluga sturgeon during its reproduction period but this is when most fishes are caught illegally. As an active predator, the beluga sturgeon is rarely as confused and as vulnerable as in its reproduction stages.
For most people, it’s a good opportunity to learn more about the beluga sturgeon today until the fish still exists. It’s estimated that this species can go extinct in open waters in a few decades. You might only see the beluga sturgeon in private fishers shortly.