Atyrau fishers catch giant sturgeon11 april 2014, 18:46
The sturgeon is smaller than their previous outstanding catch made in April 2013, and weights 150 kilos.
“This sturgeon is smaller than the one we caught last year, but it is younger and it means it is better for reproduction. Considering the size of the fish it is possible to extract reproductive products and save the sturgeon’s life. We will try to put the sturgeon into sleep and “emulge” it if the fish does not have any injuries, ” a fisheries officer at the sturgeon farm Maira Zulkasheva said.
If everything goes according to plan, then the sturgeon will soon be freed back to the sea. The fish will stay in a special pool for a couple weeks while the specialists will be extracting the caviar.
In April 2013, fishers from the Amangeldi production cooperation accidently caught a 276-kilo sturgeon that was 3 meters long. The giant sturgeon tore the nets and 20 fishers had trouble keeping the fish from escaping. Unfortunately, the workers of the farm could not save sturgeon’s life because it had too many injuries. They extracted caviar by cut opening the fish in hope that it would develop into baby fishes.
The head of Amangeldi Murat Amirgaliev said that it is a rarity to come across a beluga sturgeon nowadays.
“This fish is almost extinct. Two years ago we caught one beluga sturgeon and it had 62 kilos of caviar. Atyraubalyk delivered another one. Last year, Zhemchujina delivered one beluga sturgeon. It is disappearing. For example in Russia, they are releasing 50 million baby fishes every year. (…) While our government contract has only 7 million baby fishes for two farms. These farms have small staff and very low salaries. They certainly would not work as hard as my fishermen. You should have known what it took me to convince my workers to deliver sturgeons to the farm! When they see a sturgeon, they just go blank. It is the vestige of the past. I explained to them that we could earn our bread on ordinary fish too. I tell them that I will give a good price for every ordinary fish caught,” Amirgaliev told Lada.kz.
In the Fall of 2013, Kazakhstan insists that all the pre-Caspian countries introduce a ban on catching sturgeons in the Caspian Sea.
“The Ural river is currently the only river with natural spawning grounds for sturgeons. Every year state-run companies release 158 million artificially-bred sturgeons,” Kazakhstan Minister of Environmental Protection said.
A moratorium on commercial fishing of sturgeons at the Caspian Sea finally came into force on January 1, 2014.