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Hubei to Release 100,000 Sturgeon into Yangtze River
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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 Sciences (CAFS).


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 the CAFS.


 (file photo)


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)

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