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Atlantic Sturgeon Officially Listed on the Endandgered Species List

Atlantic sturgeon, an ancient species that co-existed with dinosaurs, has fared less well sharing coastal and river habitats with humans. As a result, they were officially protected as an endangered species on April 6, 2012.

Once abundant, sturgeon were heavily fished for both their meat and eggs in the mid to late 1800s, decimating the population. Because females do not reach sexual maturity until they are 15 or more years old, it was difficult for the population to rebound, especially as pollution, dredging, and other activities degraded habitats.

The decision by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) means it believes the sturgeon, the largest fish native to the Chesapeake, historically they reached lengths of 14 feet, is likely to become extinct in the foreseeable future without additional protection.

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