The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) today formally announced the reclassification of beluga sturgeon in the Caspian Sea as "critically endangered" on its Red List, providing strong evidence that fishing and international trade should be halted and a stock-rebuilding plan should be initiated immediately. Beluga sturgeon populations have been decimated in part due to unrelenting exploitation for black caviar – the sturgeon's unfertilized eggs – considered the finest in the world.
"For those of us who have been involved in studying the rapid decline of this species over the past several decades, this reclassification of beluga sturgeon is of great significance and relief," said Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Professor and Executive Director of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University. "However, of even greater significance is the IUCN reclassification of many sturgeons, which shows them to be among the most imperiled animals on earth. A higher percentage of sturgeon species were designated as critically endangered than any other group of species assessed, including other fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and plants."
Dr. Pikitch has led scientific efforts to highlight the seriously depleted status of the beluga sturgeon and to secure protection for the species for more than a decade. Dr. Pikitch was one of the petitioners of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) seeking listing of the species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA). Beluga sturgeon were listed under the U.S. ESA in 2004, and imports of its products into the United States have been banned since 2005.
The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University contributed significant new scientific information on several species of sturgeon to the newly released IUCN Red List sturgeon assessment. Dr. Ellen Pikitch, Executive Director, and Dr. Phaedra Doukakis, Senior Research Scientist with the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science are members of IUCN's Sturgeon Specialist Group (SSG).
They recently co-authored, along with other U.S. and Kazakhstani scientists, the results of a study of Caspian Sea beluga sturgeon of the Ural River. The results, which were published online this month in the journal Conservation Biology, suggest that conservation strategies for beluga sturgeon should focus on reducing the overfishing of adults rather than heavily relying upon hatchery supplementation and also demonstrate that current harvest rates in the fishery are four to five times higher than those that would sustain population abundance.
"This study only adds more credence to the reclassification of beluga sturgeon as 'critically endangered,' and underscores the need for swift, international protection to help them stave off extinction," said Dr. Pikitch. "And, the new IUCN assessment demonstrates that almost all of the 27 sturgeon species need enhanced protection since conservation measures to date have not been sufficient to ensure the recovery and long-term persistence of these valuable and ancient fish."
Drs. Pikitch and Doukakis presented their latest findings, as well as an overview of status and trends of global sturgeon fisheries, at a meeting during the 15th meeting of the Conference of Parties to CITES in Doha, Qatar. Also presenting were Dr. Kent E. Carpenter, IUCN Global Marine Species Assessment Director, on the reclassification of the sturgeon species, and Dr. Volker Homes, Species Conservation Section Director, WWF Germany and TRAFFIC, on caviar trade and labeling.
To request images of beluga sturgeon and black caviar, or copies of the study, "Management and Recovery Options for Ural River Beluga Sturgeon," please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1.720.542.9455.
Read the news release about the study online at http://www.oceanconservationscience.org/press/press-article.php?ID=116
For an additional study about sturgeon fishery management, click on: http://www.oceanconservationscience.org/publications/files/papers/FAFv2.pdf
The Institute for Ocean Conservation Science at Stony Brook University is dedicated to advancing ocean conservation through science. The Institute transforms real-world policy while pursuing serious science, both of which are essential for ocean health. Visit http://oceanconservationscience.org
Cindy Yeast | EurekAlert!
Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau
Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
28.07.2017 | Health and Medicine
28.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
28.07.2017 | Life Sciences