Heilongjiang Province in northeast China has set up another laboratory in Luobei County to breed and release more sturgeon and huso sturgeon fry.
The laboratory, the first provincial one in China, will release 200,000 artificially-incubated fry into the Heilong River, the boundary river between China and Russia.
Sturgeon is famous for its meat and the caviar made of its eggs, and is described as "black gold" on the international market. It has been in existence for about 130 million years and once co- existed with dinosaurs.
But the long sexual development of the fish -- usually nine to ten years for sturgeon and 16 to 18 years for huso sturgeon -- combined with over-fishing and deteriorating environment, has led to a decline in their population.
In 1987, the province set up two sturgeon breeding and release laboratories in the province. More than four million sturgeon and huso sturgeon fingerlings have been released to preserve the ecological balance and fish resources in the area.
(eastday.com November November 14, 2002)