, , or European sturgeon
) is a species
of anadromous fish
in the sturgeon family
) of order Acipenseriformes
. It is found primarily in the Caspian
and Black Sea
basins, and occasionally in the Adriatic Sea
. Heavily fished for the female's valuable roe
—known as beluga caviar
— the beluga is a huge and late-maturing fish that can live for 118 years. The species' numbers have been greatly reduced by overfishing
, prompting many governments to enact restrictions on its trade. The most similar to the Huso huso
Beluga is the Huso dauricus Kaluga
, also referred to as the "River Beluga".
The common name for the sturgeon, as for the unrelated beluga whale
, is derived from the Russian
word белый (belyy
), meaning "white".
The beluga is a large predator which feeds on other fish.
As do many sturgeons, the beluga travels upstream in rivers to spawn
. Accordingly, sturgeons are sometimes likened to sea fish; however most scientists consider them to be river fish.
The largest generally accepted record is of a female taken in 1827 in the Volga
estuary at and , making the beluga the largest freshwater
fish in the world; larger even than the Mekong giant catfish
or the Arapaima
. Nevertheless, some... Read More