About 41 thousand artificially fertilized Chinese sturgeons have been released into the Yangtze River in central China's Hubei Province.
Most of the sturgeons are about 2 months old, and 10 to 15 centimeters in length. Micro digital bar codes implanted in the fish enable researchers to track them.
Chinese sturgeons migrate from the sea to the upper reaches of the Yangtze River to spawn every year. However, the Gezhouba Dam built in the middle of the Yangtze River in 1988 prevents sturgeons from swimming to the upper reaches of the river.
A laboratory was therefore established to artificially fertilize Chinese sturgeons to ensure their survival. Since 1998, they have released 210 thousand artificially conceived sturgeons into the Yangtze River.
The endangered species of Chinese sturgeons have been around for nearly 140 million years, and it is sometimes referred to as the "living fossil fish" or "the Chinese giant panda of the water."
(CRI January 10, 2004)