Atlantic sturgeon making recovery


DEC officials, environmentalists
released several sturgeon into the
Hudson, near Kingston, in 2004

ALBANY – A study of the Atlantic sturgeon population in the Hudson River shows an increasing juvenile sturgeon abundance, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
They are at the highest level recorded in the Hudson River in the last 10 years, said acting Commissioner Basil Seggos.
“We are cautiously optimistic that, with our continued vigilance and efforts to protect this species, Atlantic sturgeon will have a secure future,” Seggos said.
Commercial fishing rates for the species exceeded its ability to replenish themselves in the late 1980s and early 1990s. New York implemented a harvest moratorium in 1996 and two years later, an amendment of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic sturgeon resulted in a coast wide moratorium on Atlantic sturgeon for 40 years and aimed to protect two generations of females in each spawning stock.
The survey began in 2006 to track the response of the species to the closure of commercial sturgeon fisheries. Signs of recovery were expected to be slow since the fish begins to spawn at 10 to 20 years old and lives as long as 60 years. That contributed to the fish being listed as endangered in 2012.
Biologists are now seeing a steady increase in the number of Atlantic sturgeon in the Hudson River as the first protected fish are coming into their prime breeding years.  

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