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Estonia: Baltic sturgeon resettlement project launched
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 00:00

The first individuals of the critically endangered sturgeon species Acipenser sturio were recently introduced into Estonian waters. The Ministry of the Environment said the hope is that the new programme will revive the species, commonly known as the European sea sturgeon among other names, in the eastern corner of the Baltic, where it was once native. Current conditions are optimum for a revival, the ministry said. Scientists say water quality in the lower Narva River is now acceptable. Similar efforts have been launched in Germany and Poland and indications are that success is possible. Four hundred fingerlings one-year-old specimens raised in Canada are being introduced into the stretch of river below the fall line. One hundred of them are marked. The project cost is EUR 24,000. The last sturgeon was caught in Estonian waters in 1996, when a 290 cm, 136 kg fish became entangled in a Baltic herring dragnet off the island of Muhu technically illegal, because the fish was not released. The preserved fish is on display at the Natural History Museum.