More than 100,000 Chinese sturgeon will be released into the
Yangtze River near Jingzhou City in central China's Hubei Province
on Sunday, said an expert with the Chinese Academy of Fishery
Two of the sturgeon, three meters in length and weighing 350 kg
and 150 kg respectively, are from the Beijing Oceanarium where they
have lived for two years after being injured in the Yichang section
of the Yangtze River in Hubei, said Wei Qiwei, a researcher with
Some 60,000 fries about 0.3 meters long are also to be released
on Sunday, according to Wei.
The Chinese sturgeon, known as a living fossil because it is one
of the oldest vertebrates in the world, has existed for more than
200 million years.
Rapid economic development, over-exploitation of the river and
shocking levels of pollution have taken a terrible tool on the
fish. The number of Chinese sturgeon that migrate to the Yangtze
River each year to spawn has dropped from 2,176 in the early stages
of the project to just 500 now.
A recently-released report on Yangtze River protection and
development says that more than 600 kilometers of the river are in
critical condition, and pollution, damming and too many boats have
caused a dramatic decline in Yangtze aquatic life.
(Xinhua News Agency April 18, 2007)