Status and management of Atlantic sturgeon , Acipenser oxyrinchus , in North America

  • Smith T
  • Clugston J
  • 25

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Abstract

The Atlantic sturgeon, Acipenser oxyrinchus, consists of two subspecies distributed along the Atlantic coast of North America from Labrador to the east coast of Florida (Atlantic sturgeon subspecies – A. o. oxyrinchus) and along the Gulf of Mexico from Florida Bay, Florida to the mouth of the Mississippi River (Gulf sturgeon subspecies – A. o. desotoi). The species has been exploited throughout its range with landings peaking around the turn of the 20th century followed by drastic declines shortly thereafter. During recent years, landings in Canadian waters have increased substantially (approximately 129 metric tons in 1993) while in the United States landings are more controlled or prohibited (approximately 22–24 metric tons in 1993). Recently, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission developed a Fishery management plan for Atlantic sturgeon, and the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and Gulf States Marine Fisheries Commission drafted a Gulf Sturgeon Recovery/Management Plan. Fishery managers in Canada are in the process of establishing more stringent fishery regulations for sturgeon. Thus, the impact on populations due to harvesting should be sub- stantially reduced. Current research focus includes: life history and population status studies, stock delineat- ion, and development of culture and stock enhancement techniques. Implementation of the findings of such studies may be helpful in the restoration of depleted stocks

Author-supplied keywords

  • acipenseridae
  • culture
  • fisheries
  • gulf sturgeon
  • life history
  • regulations
  • value

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Authors

  • Theodore I J Smith

  • James P Clugston

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