Thursday 22 May 2014

Chinese sturgeons die from viral infection at Ocean Park

Ocean Park claimed yesterday that two of their fishes, two recently imported rare Chinese sturgeons (Acipenser sinensis), a species that dates back 140 million years, have died at the park yesterday. 

The sturgeons were imported from the mainland on Feb. 18 with 13 others but the two deceased were found to be swimming abnormally on Apr. 21. By May 11 given they were given immediate support but still died shortly after. 

The Park found one sturgeon died of a gill infection and the other had infections in several internal organs. 

Wild Chinese sturgeons are critically endangered and protected species. Most sturgeon are anadromous meaning they spawn in fresh water and migrate to salt water to mature. Historically this fish was found in China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula, but it has been extirpated from most regions due to habitat loss and overfishing. They dwell along the coasts of China's eastern areas and migrate back up rivers to reproduce when they reach sexual maturity. But the Chinese sturgeon's reproductive capacity is poor: it may breed three or four times during its life with females carrying in excess of a million eggs in one pregnancy. They release them to be fertilised externally by males, but the survival rate to hatching is estimated to be less than 1 percent.

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