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Harvest and habitats of Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus Mitchill, 1815 in the Hudson River estuary: Lessons for sturgeon conservation


Harvest and habitats of Atlantic sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus Mitchill, 1815 in the Hudson River estuary: Lessons for sturgeon conservation



Boletin Instituto Espanol de Oceanografia 16(1-4): 43-53



Conservation of the Hudson River population of the sturgeon Acipenser oxyrinchus Mitchill, 1815 has benefitted from the most intensive research programme on any population of the species. We review the history of the fishery for A. oxyrinchus in the Hudson River, and concisely summarise diverse research findings on its life history and habitat use. The fishery for A. oxyrinchus from the Hudson River had one period of very high harvest (pre-1900s), a long period (1900-1979) of minimal harvest and slow population recovery, a period (1980-1992) of restored abundance and high harvest, and finally another decline and suspension of fishing (1996). Sturgeon spawning and early juvenile development occurs in the freshwater portion of the Hudson River, whereas adult and large juvenile sturgeon occupy marine waters, and some of these fish will annually occupy low salinity sites in the Hudson River and other coastal rivers in summer. A. oxyrinchus of the Hudson River are genetically distinct from other populations associated with rivers along the Atlantic coast. Eight different habitats are used during the life cycle of Hudson River A. oxyrinchus, and these are described in physical and temporal terms. The history and biology of the Hudson River A. oxyrinchus suggest three lessons for sturgeon restoration: basic life history knowledge is essential, fishery management is difficult, and regular population monitoring will be needed from the start.

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Accession: 010735613

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Related references

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