Sturgeon The back is a steel gray and the belly is mostly white. Adults average about 3 m (9.8 ft) in length, weighing up to 700 kg (1,500 lb). They reach sexual maturity at 14–16 years of age and have very long lifespans; some individuals are known to have lived 100 years or more.
The species prefers deep water in the temperate and subtropical zones of the Atlantic Ocean but also occurs in shallow waters. They feed on bottom-dwelling crustaceans including crabs and shrimp, as well as small fish such as herring, menhaden, and anchovies. They are migratory, traveling thousands of kilometers each year to their spawning grounds in the waters off the coasts of Europe and North America.
Sturgeons remain at or near the bottom of large bodies of water throughout their lives, feeding along the substrate on benthic organisms such as mollusks, crustaceans, worms, small fish, and even dead organisms.
Sturgeons are gregarious animals that spawn in large groups during the spring season. Each female produces between 30,000 and 70,000 eggs at each spawning. Male sturgeon do not guard or care for their offspring after they have spawned.
The sex of a white sturgeon is determined by the water temperatures in which it lives. For example, if eggs are incubated at approximately, all the offspring will be male. At this temperature, larvae are dark brown with light brown yolk sacks. As they develop, melanophores appear on their back and sides forming an overall gray color. Their eyes are large, with irises of creamy white, purple, or grey.
Fertilized eggs require approximately 110 days to develop before hatching. During incubation, larvae feed on their yolk sacs and then become bottom-dwellers, feeding primarily on organic detritus. They may migrate through different habitats during the first 2 months of life. When these first hatched larvae are approximately 20 mm., they have reached about one-third of their maximum size, 44 to 48 mm.
White sturgeon usually do not mature until the age of 10–18 years for males and 13–24 years for females. Females mature in the late teens and early 20s, and males reach maturity when they are in their late twenties or early thirties [36-38]. Since both sexes require such a long time to mature, white sturgeons can live to be 50 years of age [50+] or more.
The mode of reproduction in white sturgeon is not well understood. Spawning is likely to be timed with seasonal upwellings of deep, nutrient-rich water. When warm summer water temperatures drop below about 16–18 °C., mature females lay large adhesive eggs on the underside of boulders, cobble, or other hard-bottomed structures.
Global sturgeon production
Some of the biggest sturgeon producers in the world are China, Russia, and the United States. Sturgeon is farmed in many other countries as well, including Canada, Italy, France, and Spain. The global production of sturgeon was estimated to be around 16,000 metric tons in 2010. The majority of this fish is used for caviar production.
The sturgeon is a popular fish for many reasons. One reason is that it can live for a very long time, up to 100 years in some cases. Another reason is that it is a very versatile fish and can be used in many different dishes. Caviar, which is made from the eggs of the sturgeon, is a popular delicacy.
There are many different types of sturgeon, and they can be found in many different parts of the world. The beluga sturgeon, for example, is found in the Caspian and Black Seas. The white sturgeon is found in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States.
Sturgeons are currently being overfished in many parts of the world, and their populations are in decline. This is due to the high demand for caviar and other sturgeon products. Sturgeon farming has become a popular way to meet this demand without further harming wild sturgeon populations.